Friday, June 22, 2007

Peeve No. 863: Passing while stupid

Here's one of the things I brought up at the Women's Bike Forum the other night, and it turns out I'm not the only one with this PEEVE.

When other cyclists pass me, they usually allow about: half an inch. of clearance room. I'm always relieved that I didn't happen to wiggle over to the left at that particular split second. You know? Because how often do you wiggle over slightly when you're riding a bike? Like all the time, right? And why? Because! -- there might be a blip on the road that you swerve to avoid, or a big stone, or a gust of wind that throws you off balance for a second. For whatever reason, bicyling is not a perfectly straight line activity, by its very nature.

What you're supposed to do is yell "On your left!" before you pass someone. That way, I can make sure I don't wiggle while you're passing. The interesting factoid I want to point out is this: When I do hear those magic words, "on your left," nine times out of ten they're in a woman's voice. Nine times out of ten, no lyin.

You can make of that what you will.

(And if you don't believe me, read Jeff's comment on my posting of yesterday -- and he's not even a girl. So there.)



At 4:41 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

Yes it's true. I'm not even a girl.

We have very few cyclists here on the road in cowboy country compared to Portland. We're more concerned with pickup trucks or big SUVs. Esp. the kind with the extended towing mirrors. And they never say, "on your left".

My wife and I rode in the Chico Wildflower. There were thousands of cyclists, so there were lots of ideas on what was courteous. When somebody would screw up bad though, it was always a woman that would verbally correct them in front of everyone. " need to let us know when you'll be coming to a dead stop in the middle of traffic." Most guys though would just mutter to themselves and shake their heads.


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