I have developed a new pet peeve since starting to train for a 5k. (I am on week five and doing great, thanks! I can now run for a good portion of 5k, but there are still five more weeks in the program.) I like to take my routine to the GW Parkway where I can be distracted by the scenery while I count off the minutes till cool down. However, cyclists love the GW too.

I like cyclists, they are great people. But, they have this really annoying habit of yelling “on your left!” when they are coming up behind you and they are going to pass by. Why is it annoying? Well, let me tell you.

1) Of course cyclists are going to pass on the left, unless they are going to go off roading on the right in their fancy-smancy racing bike. Besides, this isn’t England. Americans always pass on the left, you don’t have to remind me. Finally, this is DC we have unwritten rules about leaving the left side of the escalator free so people can pass while slow pokes stand on the right. I am well aware that there is fast moving traffic to the left.

2) I am not deaf, I can hear you coming a mile off. Sound travels pretty quickly my friend, and despite your wickedly cool racing jersey, you are not going faster than the speed of sound. And if I don’t hear you, yelling at me when you are right behind me is a really bad idea. It scares me and I almost always jump, usually to the left because that is the last word I hear.

3) All the joggers, runners, walkers always stay on the right side of the path so you can pass us-its your job to look out for us, not the other way around. Esp. since you can actually see us and we can’t see you since you are behind us.

Now peeves are just that, peeves. Most of the time they are irrational. However, I suggest you try to go running on the GW between the hours of 5 and 7 and see how you feel about cyclists yelling ‘on your left!” every few seconds. It gets to you.

So what do I suggest? That cyclists use their bells. It’s not startling. It sounds nice. The sound carries farther, so I know you are back there a long way off.

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