Too Close for Comfort

If you’re lucky enough to have a bike lane, you’re still probably not lucky enough to have a comfortably wide luxurious bike lane. And even with the words “Bikes Only” coupled with cute little stick figure cyclists, you’re probably spending a good deal of time avoiding things in your lane that are not bikes. Space is precious.

So I’m surprised that sometimes when I’m in the bike lane there is always a cyclist who decides to pass me within the narrow bike lane.

Sometimes on the left, or worse, on the right. And even in intersections when the light turns green where cyclists are most unstable as they start moving. They silently sneak up on me without a word of warning. Just once I wish they would yell–

Too Close for Comfort

Or if that’s too long, maybe just shout–

Too Close for Comfort

And sometimes when they pass so close that I can feel their arm hair I want to say–

Too Close for Comfort


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35 Comments on "Too Close for Comfort"

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I’m a member of the Joint Transportation Committee here on Martha’s Vineyard representing cyclists and pedestrians. There are no bike lanes here. One of the biggest complaints I hear is from cyclists and pedestrians is about getting BUZZED by other cyclists unannounced on various bike paths. Some of these guys are hauling @$$. We all hate when a motorist buzzes a cyclist out on the road but there are just to many cyclists who do the very same thing to other cyclists. About ear phones and those running or cycling on bike paths with the music cranked up. Music cranked… Read more »

Everybody has their own riding style and as long as they don’t endanger other people, I’m glad that they choose to ride a bike.

Much like Amsterdam, I will happily take a close call with another cyclist every once in awhile just to enjoy what streets full of bicyclists looks and feels like.


Yes. Enjoying what streets full of bicyclists looks like.


Passing on the right in a narrow bike lane is a dick move no matter where you live. You are endangering other people if you’re threatening to push them over, or if they might swerve into you because they don’t know you’re coming up there. We have a real simple rule here: pass on the left. They teach it in driver’s ed, and most cyclists here have been through that.

Jeff C

Here’s a conundrum – how do you pass when the bike lane is on the left (see: Comm Ave)? That whole thing just throws me for a loop every time.


Who passes on the right? That’s just plain wrong!
BTW, Love the blog 🙂


It’s not entirely safe, either, given that people are accustomed to being passed on the left, and are accustomed to hearing “on your left” — they often veer right by habit. Only near-accident with a jogger was passing on the right, attempting to be nice and taking the icy route. She stepped right. No harm, but plenty scary.

Jeff C

I too far the awkwardness of having to say stuff when passing. That’s why I have a bell. Clear, loud, unmistakable. Vote bells 2012.

Jeff C

fear* the awkwardness…


I pass on the right all the time, but people should also consider that Bikes are a form of transport, and if you are wobling around blocking the way at 10mph and I am traveling at 15 then I have a problem. Please ride consistantly and then there is no problem. BTW. I live in a place where there are more bikes than cars and we drive/ride on the left! cheers from sunny Malawi!