It’s a beautiful day out here in the Midwest.  I woke up early and did my chores around the house.  I knew I had to go for about a 3 hour bike but I didn’t want to leave too early.  I wanted to let it warm up a bit.  I am after all going to be riding in weather near 100 degrees in a few weeks.  Best to get used to it now.

I finally set off around 11 a.m.  I made my way through Milan and into Rock Island.  I did my 10 hills and set off towards the Mississippi River for my next hour of riding.  Being that it’s a weekday and a lot of people are working, there was not much traffic on the bike path.  I tend to smile, wave, and give a slight not when I’m passing someone coming the other direction.  I tend to just pass people if they are going the same direction.  After 30 minutes of riding it was time to turn around.  I came up on a guy in red shirt biking on the right hand side of the path.  I passed him with plenty of room between us.  He shouted “Could’ve said passing”.  I was intrigued so hit the brakes and turned around.  I maneuvered next to him and jokingly asked “Did I scare you?  Did I not give you enough room?”

Man on Bike:  No, but you could’ve have given me a heads up.

Me:  40% of the time when I say “riding on your left” it startles people and they jump to the left.  40% of the time people are wearing headphones and can’t hear me anyways.  We are on a bike path and people should know how traffic works.

Man on Bike:  Yeah, I see what your saying.  I always tell people I’m passing them though.  People take up the whole path a lot of times and I have to say something to get them to move.  Sometimes they’re on their phones and don’t see me.  I’m sorry if I was rude.

Me:  It’s no problem.  I just wanted to hear where you were coming from.  I’m sorry if I startled you.

We shook hands, agreed that we were the smartest men alive, and went on our separate way.  I’m glad that I turned around and talked with the guy.  I’m not sure who is right in this situation.  Should I tell everyone “Passing”?  For me it has always caused more trouble than good.  Back in Colorado my roommate broke his arm because he yelled “Passing” and the lady jumped right in front of him.

What do you think is the correct way to pass someone on the bike path?