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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On the 4th my girlfriend and I set out on a slow paced ride from the San Francisco side of the GG Bridge to Tiburon and back. We had a great time and she pushed herself well beyond her comfort zone! However, I was ashamed at the poor etiquette exhibited by other bikers, most notably roadies.

On the multi-use path from Sausalito to Mill Valley, where there are numerous signs stating to slow down for other road users and verbally signal when passing, we got a "on your left" from four of the hundred or so roadies that passed us. Of those hundred bikers, most passed within a foot or two of our left side while we were on the right side of the path. Most of the time, the other side of the path was clear. It got to the point where I would check every two minutes behind us and alert my lady of bikers that might overtake soon. A couple big-tire riders passed us the same way, so it's not entirely a roadie thing. However, a couple roadies passed us with about a foot of clearance when there was a wide open path for a half mile ahead...it's not just bad etiquette, it's stupid.

We met up with my dad and his friend who were walking along the Tiburon multi use path. He had a similar incident with a biker the same day. He reached out with his left hand to point towards a distant object, and in doing so nearly whacked a roadie as she passed him without a heads up and about an arms length of room. :eekster:

Of the four bikers who gave us a heads up before passing, three were part of the same group, two of them were children. Smart parents, smart kids. Maybe there's hope.
 

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I have similar experience.

My wife, who is a novice cyclist, got really impolitely treated by roadies on our ride to cross the golden gate.

On the SF side where you go through that narrow road right before you step on the bridge itself, there is a little narrow 90 degree turn. My wife's skill is so limited that I was actually really cheering her on the whole way for getting this far.

Last thing she need is a road cyclist on her back telling her to "move over" or "ride faster". I don't remember the exact wording, but I was extremely upset as well. I mean, at least have some respect for another rider. I had my big bike with a full face helmet on that day, so he got to have know that at least I am an avid rider like him. Gosh....if he think my wife is in his way, at least show respect for her on my behave.

Not all roadies are like that. I did the 700c thing too.
 

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ha ha...

I've done the holiday over the bridge deal and seen the same thing.... I am in holiday cruiser mode. I'm looking for stuff to jib off and bunny hop and I am not cycling very seriously. Most the roadies will yell at me. I've found the best defense is a good offense. I yell at them before they can yell at me.... It makes the whole experience more fun.

I wouldn't let it get to you...

roadies will be roadies...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Riding in Marin is sweet in general, I used to live in a few counties of Marin as a teen in the 80's and 90's when I was learning to mountain bike. Just like blahblah, we would ride on the bike paths in the area and make offroad of any dirt we could find. Hell, I do that now. The highlight of the 4th of July was eating brunch with wifey in Tiburon and seeing a dude ride by on a pink steel Stumpjumper.
 

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We're all the same

Sorry to hear you had a few bad experiences with the other biking folks. Most are cool but you do have a few Asses riding skinny tires just like we fat tire riders do. I'm one of those fat tire riding asses btw on your side. I would have stuck a tire pump in their spokes and laughed as they smashed their face into the pavement and then bunny hop on their back making sure my big gear dug into their back. Hope this helps for the next time you run into raging roadies. I'm sure they were all caring when they passed by an inexperienced rider and tried to make her crash or worse, swerve into 50 mph cars.
 

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superbox said:
On the multi-use path from Sausalito to Mill Valley, where there are numerous signs stating to slow down for other road users and verbally signal when passing, we got a "on your left" from four of the hundred or so roadies that passed us. Of those hundred bikers, most passed within a foot or two of our left side while we were on the right side of the path. Most of the time, the other side of the path was clear. It got to the point where I would check every two minutes behind us and alert my lady of bikers that might overtake soon. A couple big-tire riders passed us the same way, so it's not entirely a roadie thing. However, a couple roadies passed us with about a foot of clearance when there was a wide open path for a half mile ahead...it's not just bad etiquette, it's stupid.
Listen, not to burst your bubble or anything, but the Bel/Tib bike path has to be the most heavily traveled bike lane in Marin. It is really not all that wide, so fast and close passes are the norm. And expecting everyone to call out around here is well, silly. If you are riding in a straight line you have little to worry about.

What you have described is S.O.P for this path. Mountain/molehill.
 

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We have the same problem down here in Mtn.View. It is not just roadie's but fat tire riders are also guilty. Walking the Stevens Creek trail, cyclists will blow by me and my dog. I haven't seen a sign stating "Warning Time Trial Trail". Sometimes these Lance wanna be will say "On your left" but when they are traveling at 10+mph the courtesy falls short. :nono:
 

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I agree that its poor of them to pass within a foot of you, and I agree with you in principal,

however, when riding on bike paths, the 4 or 5 times Ive almost crashed, and one time I did crash ALL were because I call out an "on your left", and the newb rider in front immediately looks over their left shoulder and veer to the left. That said, if its a crowded situation, I will still call out, and slow down, but if there is plenty of room, I prefer to swing wide left without calling out. Its been much safer (for me at least).

On the road, most riders are a little more experienced and don't veer to the left.
 

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I used to ride across the bridge all the time. There will be a few aggressive bikers from time to time. My biggest annoyance wasn't when people would pass, but more about bikers passing someone heading in the opposite direction, in my path. There were a couple close calls where I had to slow down a bit to let them pass the other person.

However, now that I ride an XL Mountain bike, I won't yield in this game of chicken. ;)
 

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TLL said:
Listen, not to burst your bubble or anything, but the Bel/Tib bike path has to be the most heavily traveled bike lane in Marin. It is really not all that wide, so fast and close passes are the norm. And expecting everyone to call out around here is well, silly. If you are riding in a straight line you have little to worry about.

What you have described is S.O.P for this path. Mountain/molehill.
A lot of MUTs are that way. It's crappy, but it gets tiring calling out "On your left" hundreds of times when you're cruising at the speed limit (15mph out here) and everyone is just lolly gagging on the MUT. I usually give a good amount of room, and I call out my intent if riders are approaching from the other direction. If it's clear, I just go around.
 

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ive noticed that the more people there are, the less anyone calls out or is willing to be polite and say hi.

i think people just dont want to play walmart greeter on their busy ride.. saying hi/on your left 600 times a mile would get tiresome.
 

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tomsmoto said:
i think people just dont want to play walmart greeter on their busy ride.. saying hi/on your left 600 times a mile would get tiresome.
grrrah said:
the 4 or 5 times Ive almost crashed, and one time I did crash ALL were because I call out an "on your left", and the newb rider in front immediately looks over their left shoulder and veer to the left.
Yep! i don't think riders are trying to be impolite, just doing their part to make their ride enjoyable and safe. its hard not to come off as self serving in saying this, but on the bike its about your own safety and enjoyment first, once you've done what it takes to feel safe and happy you can start looking out for others. my point- not poor etiquette anymore than your's was by going out on busy commute path, going slow and expecting others to spend their time and energy worrying about you. its always hard when you're with a noob. you feel responsibility, and in the case of your significant other, a certain protectiveness that skews your assessment of the situation. i know that when i ride up kings mountain or old la honda by myself not much pisses me off, but when i ride up with my girlfriend i think everyone is an inconsiderate reckless idiot.
 

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I see that kind of thing a lot on the bridge, especially when the bike side is closed during the day. Having a "world is my racetrack" mentality simply doesn't work in the slow-moving mash of tourists and blazing saddles riders. Yet, there are always a few who simply cannot go slow, so they yell, pass close, and be just aggressive in general and end up on the other side no faster someone who is polite and patient.

Considering that that traffic jam is perpetual and pretty much never going to go away, It really reflects poorly on the cycling community to act so abrasivly on what is really a short part of your ride.
 

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superbox said:
When your brightly colored one piece is so tight it cuts off the blood to your brain, you're not going to follow the rules of the road ;)
I guess the same goes for the guys who must've smoked up before riding their MTBs down rt 9 and were passing cars on the left thru blind corners this afternoon, causing minivans full of kids to swerve all over? I think the truth is, some bikers are jerks, others aren't. Hopefully the OP's significant other doesn't let that deter her from keeping up the riding! At least they aren't cars buzzing ya (yet!)
 

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I think we need to be more tolerant of our Road bretheren.

You have to remember that they don't have the handling skills that mtb-ers have so when you see them in any situation like this they are working as hard as they can to not crash out.:D
 

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My typical experience calling out "on your left" on a MUT involves people being rather startled, moving out into the middle of the trail and rubbernecking. If I have to call it out (child, dog, several people taking up the whole trail, etc.) I will ... if I can get by without doing that it seems safer though in many, many cases.

I should probably get a bell, but a bell on a road bike? I don't ride MUTs enough to justify one. If I were riding the GG bridge frequently I think it would be a must.

Maybe you should get an airhorn and when people buzz by you then sound it! That will startle them. If they get chippy about it, then point to your bell and explain how you felt when they buzzed you. :cool:
 

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jonala said:
We have the same problem down here in Mtn.View. It is not just roadie's but fat tire riders are also guilty. Walking the Stevens Creek trail, cyclists will blow by me and my dog. I haven't seen a sign stating "Warning Time Trial Trail". Sometimes these Lance wanna be will say "On your left" but when they are traveling at 10+mph the courtesy falls short. :nono:
Whoah ten miles an hour! NO one should ever be able to go that fast!
 

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My 2 cents

I ride both types (mountain and road)... overall I have to disagree with most of this situation. It simply sounds like you were being passed on a multiuse path and the people passing you didn't call out in advance. If driving on the freeway, do people have to honk their horns before they pass you? If the person(s) passing you didn't swerve into your lane, and simply rode past you, I honestly don't see it as a big deal--yes giving more space would have been nice... but they DID pass you without harm... correct???

I agree with previous posters... calling out often causes me more problems (the look and swerve:madman: ) than just riding past. If I see a group of walkers taking up the path, or cyclists swerving to and fro, then I will call out, but otherwise slipping past seems to work the best.

Of course riding fast enough to never get passed at all solves the problem ;)
 
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