Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now
77

After 50+ years as a cyclist, this is my approach - ride according to the conditions ride in reasonable proximity to the curb if safe, move over a little as traffic approaches know where I'm going, and do it assertively if somebody honks / shouts / waves, assume that they must be a friend, or are telling me something important, so smile broadly and wave ...


51

Whether it's rude is a matter of local custom. Whether you're offended by it depends on your flexibility and sensitivity Often, we cyclists can become a little over sensitive, after having to defend ourselves from car doors, pedestrians, cars, trucks, laws that don't take us into account, police who have a ticket quota, and even other cyclists. Relax. The ...


38

Consider how you feel when a fellow cyclist approaches you will full beam straight ahead. It's pretty blinding, even for a moment, and especially off-road when your eyes aren't used to it. So in a park: Dim your light to its lowest setting (within reason). Put it on steady beam. Flashing is more visible but also more annoying and disorientating. Physically ...


37

Unethical, because you're imposing costs on the organisers anyway. Apart from the obvious "if you get hurt they're going to help you", they almost always face costs per participant and often have a limit on numbers. Violate those limits and the organisers will have problems. You're also causing wear and tear on the track, equipment and marshals. You can't ...


34

It can be considered "impolite" by roadies, but not because of the bike you were riding or the fact you didn't take a pull (although I am sure some will argue for this). The main reason random drop-in riders are generally frowned upon are because of: the dangers associated with unpredictability of a new rider lack of insurance coverage Potential ...


34

There are now many bike lights on the market which have a shaped beam with a "horizontal cutoff" giving strong light onto the road or path, but much less above the horizon. When adjusted correctly these allow you to see where you're going without dazzling oncoming traffic or pedestrians. I use a Busch & Muller Ixon IQ (pictured), but there are others. ...


32

There was a post on this subject on The Guardian Bike Blog. I think there are a couple of issues with drafting random cyclists: it could be unsafe, particularly if they don't realise you're doing it. some people will object to being drafted - it can be considered an invasion of your personal space. I think your best bet is to ask before drafting, then ...


31

There's a fake Buddha quote on some internet sites which says, "Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die." The most popular of the genuine Buddha quotes (the Dhammapada) begins with, "He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me." Those who harbor such thoughts do not still their hatred. "He abused me, ...


30

To be honest, I think you handled the situation pretty well as it was. You've got to get yourself to the bottom of the mountain safely and even in locales which have laws about deliberately impeding following road users you will have to allow people to pass in a manner safe for you, this isn't necessarily going to be immediately. Seems to me that this ...


30

Please accept my apologies on behalf of cyclists. Hollerin' something at a motorist who was trying to figure out how to handle an obviously unclear situation was inappropriate. Thanks for doing your best and not killing any cyclists that day! In general, I agree with the other answers here that you handled this fine and there isn't some magic you could have ...


27

I wouldn't consider it to be bad etiquette IF: You're not breaking the posted road speed limit. Watch not only for cars backing out but for kids. Watch for dogs. In small neighborhoods like this it's also not a bad idea to stay out in the lane and not hug the curb. This gives you much more time if a car or child comes hurtling out into the road and you're ...


27

I use the method in your 3rd picture - I take the middle of the lane when there are no bike lanes. I am helped in these cases by the fact that these roads in my city usually specify the right-most lane as a shared car and bike lane. Besides the speed issue you state when riding on the sidewalk, it is also hazardous for both the cyclist and pedestrians. I ...


25

Try making up a different backstory for the driver. You are already making one up, you know: speeds off to annoy the next bicyclist I do very well with assuming that the driver must have an unhappy marriage, or be on their way to a job they hate, or otherwise be preoccupied with their own misery, which impairs the way they drive. If they beep or say ...


24

Broadly, not a lot. Legally it's probably technically unlawful on several grounds (horn not used as a warning device, causing alarm, loud noise, possibly harassment), but they're all petty offences and unlikely to get a useful response from Police. If it happens in front of a cop they might pull the motorist over for a chat, but that's unlikely. My answer ...


22

Passing a horse, mounted or otherwise, should be done so: very slowly as quiet as possible. If you have a loud freehub, pedal slowly -- do your best not to coast. with as much space & consideration as possible no sudden movements limit the number of cyclists going past It all depends on the horses' temperament. Some are OK, some like cars but not ...


22

It's common etiquette, at least everywhere I've been, to stay away from wet and muddy trails (unless they're supposed to be or always are a mudfest). Riding on a muddy trail makes ruts which make the trail conditions worse for everyone once the mud dries and the ground hardens. In addition to ruts, if the trail is muddy and you slide out a front wheel going ...


21

Yes, it is rude to stop in front of another cyclist at a red light, especially if they are faster than you. That much is certain. As Carey says, the best thing to do is to just come to a stop behind the already stopped riders. If you do decide to shoal, at least have the courtesy to be faster.


20

I don't think this should be viewed from a strictly legal or normative point of view, so I'll give my impressions as a former driver and as someone with some experiences of overtaking cars downhill by bike, either on-road and off-road (unpaved roads). First of all, if you drove like you were alone (hypothetically speaking), by no means you would endanger a ...


20

In my experience, no. The problem is that however polite you try to be you're taking the lane so you're in their way. My commute takes me over a narrow one-lane-each-way bridge that's a bit of a choke point, so it's busy. It's also a raised bridge, so sight lines are very poor. Since I ride it twice a day I've had the chance to experiment with some ...


19

No. Absolutely not. And why would it be? Should you run a race through there without getting the residents onboard first? Of course not. (And who would?) But taking a bike ride through residential areas? Why would anyone object? And if they do, how could it possibly be labeled unreasonable for a cyclist to come down the street at 10-20 mph when cars come ...


19

My experience is mostly in Canada as well (southern Ontario), so perhaps I can provide a closer-to-home viewpoint. I bike in a city with poor infrastructure that was designed for cars first, and everything else second (though that's changing). This means I get into a lot of situations where drivers honk at me, typically around 1 incident per 100km biked in-...


19

I use the following rule of thumb: If there is enough space for two cars next to me, I move to the side. If not, I keep the whole right lane for myself. I do the same even if only one lane is available in the direction; if the lane is too narrow in some parts (like in the city next to the tram stops), I occupy the whole lane and do not let cars overtake. ...


18

This is a potential minefield. If someone's on my wheel, to be honest I don't care. I prefer not to draft when commuting - I know the state of most of the roads I regularly use and I want decent visibility of the surface and other road users; it's a commute, not a heads-down speed session, so a few extra seconds at a lower speed is of little consequence. ...


16

Officially: Bikes yield to hikers and horses. Hikers are fine, if you call it out and pass when safe. Horses can spook easily. Once you see it, stop. Wait for the rider to signal you by. Often I have been simply asked to walk my bike by. Easy. Sometimes it's best to just wait for them to pass. In your situation, I would get within 10 - 20 yards, and ...


16

I slow down and address the rider in a conversational, even sing-song, tone "Good morning, rider. There are two bikes behind you. Is it Ok for us to pass?" (They almost always say "yes" and thank me/us for alerting them, but it also gives them the option to ask me to dismount or hold back). Note that despite your having addressed the rider, the ...


16

The consequences for you as an individual are perhaps not as important as the broader ramifications of your behaviour. By behaving as if you think that the local rules of the road don't apply to you, you are contributing to a perception that cyclists are dangerous idiots who disregard the rules and the safety of themselves and others. This has the effect ...


15

This is not strictly a bicycling issue. Do-gooders who ignore the rules and want to give the right of way all the time are also irritating to other drivers. They are not necessarily safer drivers, because "scared" is not exactly the same thing as "safe". There isn't anything you can do; just take cautious advantage of the right of way and keep going. The ...


14

I've found it courteous to come up beside the person and ask permission. I usually say "how far you going?" or "mind if I join you?". The real key is to take turns drafting. If the person says yes, I usually take the first pull in front just to show them I'm not a wheel sucker. As an avid cyclist, I've found very few things more annoying than riding for a ...


14

Safe is a relative term in this instance. A shirt might protect you in a fall, but only just. You'll know immediately whether a shirt can protect your skin from sticks, branches, and prickers dangling into the trail. If you were going fast enough flying insects may even make an impact, though I can't imagine it'd be terribly painful. Shirts do offer some ...


14

I'd pick a different spot in the rack if possible. But if I was in a hurry or there wasn't another suitable place I'd use it (e.g. my bike doesn't fit on the bottom of the double stacker at the station; some places have decent racks and others that don't allow proper locking for all day use). I would try to make sure it's easy to get the lock off, perhaps by ...


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