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I always call out "Passing on your left" but some pedestrians still get confused by it. I usually slow down so the fact that they sometimes move over to the left isn't that big a problem for me. With so many out-of-town visitors in the area, I don't know if an educational campaign would help that much. Many of the tourists will still get confused by any passing warning, or even a bell.

I think it's best to slow down before passing any pedestrians and anticipate the possibility that they will step to the left or the right or maintain their position.

Jill DeMauro leaving DC is a huge shame, even without considering the context of why. Her energy and obvious passion for bicycling gave Proteus a wonderfully funky vibe, and I hope whoever the new owners are keeps it similarly offbeat. She is a true believer in all the best ways.

I agree with Michael that slowing down is required to safely pass pedos. However, when I slow to pass pedos, other bicyclists pass me making for a doubly unsafe pedo-bicycle pass! When I catch up to the unsafe passers and mention slowing down, the response is not repeatable amongst polite company. I think bicyclists need more education on passing safely than do pedos.

I still maintain a bell is the best device for alerting someone of your approach.

@unclejed
In a perfect world all cyclists would have graduated kindergarten and so have learned to wait their turn.

My guess is that the assholes who ride like that on the trails are the same assholes who drive like assholes when they're behind the wheel of a car.

Don't forget the homophobic President who signed DOMA, Bill Clinton.

While Clinton was far from a perfect president (isn't it funny how all the Third Way types keep clamoring for a "centrist", while the Democrats keep electing them?) there's a world of difference between drafting, whipping, and passing shitty legislation on the one hand, and failing to use every lever in one's power to prevent it from being implemented.

Don't get me wrong, they both suck, but one's of a different order.

Count me among the confused "some": "on your left" is a simple description of location. It says NOTHING, ZERO, ZILCH, about WHO is or should be on the left. Is it "Stay (you) on the left"? or "I'm on your left"? It's terribly ambiguous grammatically.
How about we all agree to warn "STAY RIGHT" instead?

Does Jim Titus have input on any "standard" warnings? We can all have our opinions, but it is better if there is well recognized standard. So far, on your left seems pretty standard.

On your left is standard for cyclists talking to cyclists, but clearly many pedestrians don't understand it.

I've resolved to break the habit with peds and either use my bell (which is far superior, I've found, to a verbal warning) or say "bicycle passing."

@darren - the new owners are a long-time employee and long-time customer/community member. I don't know the employee, but I've met the other new owner a few times, and I think the shop will keep going just as it has been.

Sad to see someone have to make such a heart-wrenching choice. Good luck to Jill & her partner! I look forward to the day when she can have it all.

I say "Passing on your left." Shouldn't that eliminate confusion? (I agree that there does seem to be something about the word "left" that makes people turn to their left).

I believe that one of the new owners is married to a frequent commenter on this blog . .

I posted some more information about the ownership transition at Proteus on the WABA/BikeArlington forum: http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?2478-Changes-at-Proteus-Bike-Shop&p=23331#post23331

If you're not talking to another cyclist on an organized ride, you probably shouldn't be saying "on your left" in any case. Jargon is really cool and all, but clarity is more important in a safety context. Everybody knows that a bicycle bell means there's a cyclist...

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