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Graham Roe

What's your rationale for needing a cyclist to ring if they're passing you? Car's don't honk if they're passing?

I pass plenty of cyclists whether on the iron horse trail or on a street and I never provide a verbal warning. I'll try it next time, but I'm pretty sure a ring or horn honk is going to cause them to jump as well.


David Hendry

It's all good for that sort, until while blitzing by someone they get tangled and shred all the nice clothes that always make me believe they are pro riders.
Those little courtesies can go a long way to keeping everyone safe.


Perhaps it's me but I don't get irritated by other cyclists passing me without warning unless they do so too closely.


In this particular case, the passing cyclist was closer to me than any car ever comes. A bit unnerving. As for passing courtesy, I always say (speaking, not yelling), "Passing on your left" to peds and cyclists on the roads and trails. One of my cycling friends suggested this is only necessary in packs, but it feels smart, esp. if you are overtaking a slower traveller who could suddenly move off his/her apparent line of travel. I have never had anyone react angrily. Some react by moving to the right, even slightly. Most say thanks or acknowledge with their left hand.


I always ring my bell (and often a verbal indication of what side I'm on) when passing pedestrians or cyclists on a shared trail or on the road. Why should I do this when cars don't find it necessary to honk when passing me?

Because cars are really freaking noisy.

I can hear a car coming up behind me for tens of seconds before it actually gets to me. There's plenty of warning - enough time for me to check my mirror to see how far away it is, assess the road surface ahead, and move to a safe position on the road - be it closer to the curb, or further away if pothole avoidance is necessary.

But a bike? What noise does that make? If my chain is well oiled, I can barely hear myself riding. And I know how surprising it is to have something whiz past you at 30-40kph with no warning.

Jeff S.

I've found that if I shout something from the seat of my recumbent, other cyclists have no idea where The Voice came from, and often swerve a bit as well. That's not safe for either of us.

I tend to pass by silently, giving plenty of room. I hope they're OK with that. Perhaps the novelty of being passed by a trike makes up for it.

Alan M

It's called "common courtesy" in sharing the road responsibly.

Besides, it's a good defensive ploy when passing a vagabond cyclist who'll just as likely decide to veer/turn left without looking as continue on in a weaving line.


LOL Bill, didn't you see him in your helmet mirror? Just stick your pump in his spokes if he buzzes you, problem solved ;)

Seriously I don't think it's uncouth to pass without warning but I ring my bell on the trail as most people are taking it easy or already baked, so it's nice to do. I gave up going fast on the iron horse in the summer, it's just too busy and too many bushes people pop out to go hard.

Passing on the road is an easy one... just do it when the lane is clear, like when you're in a car... and wave at the other guy and smile, we're not stressed out drivers so we should give ourselves some more respect too. Except for people in full kit... if I'm passing them they're definitely posers that deserve heaps of internet scorn and mockery.

Joey Jo-Jo

Cars *would* honk while passing if they didn't have rear view mirrors. If not, there would be accidents all over the place.

Ring your bell while passing, especially when you're going at a decent speed. It's for your safety as well as everyone else's.


I wish we had a "bell culture" here... While living in Amsterdam I got so used to using the bell to either let other cyclists know I was passing, or to let tourists know they shouldn't be walking on the bike path!
I've never had many issues with other cyclists and passing until today! One guy passed me so silently and close that I was quite startled and yelled after him that he should warn people before passing. After the bike lane disappeared he pulled onto the sidewalk while I stayed on the road, and I was able to retain my speed while he slowed down, which was good as I was turning right at the next light and was nervous he'd bolt in front of me.

Just after that I ended up behind someone, and just as I was proclaiming "passing on your left" he veered in front of me! He was turning, but hadn't even signaled. He had looked behind him briefly, but maybe just enough to notice no cars, and didn't see me.


I would like to use my bell more than I do but I'm always worried that people will assume I'm telling them to get out of the way rather than just to alert them to my presence. So unless I think the space is tight I just try to give as much room, and sometimes give a little cough as I'm about to pass :)


I don't usually say "on your left" if there's more than four feet of space between me and the cyclist I'm passing or if the cyclist I'm passing is in the bike lane and I'm riding in the car lane...I get the odd person who takes issue but I lump them in the same category as the people who get upset when you put your elbows on the table or don't hold your knife and fork properly...
It might be a breach of the etiquette that some social circles of cycling believe should be followed but not really a breach of safety...
I think that sometimes the people who get pissy are more angry that they're being passed than because I didn't follow what they believe is proper behavior...Also, nouveau-cyclistes can be a bit preachy when they're learning etiquette and they apply the same rule to all situations whether conditions dictate it or not...
For the record, I don't think it's cool to buzz by someone without warning them in situations where you're close enough to startle them or if safety is compromised...
But sometimes people are just looking for excuses to call each other morons................
And NO, I'm not the guy in the Specialized jersey...

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