“On your left!”
This call can sometimes be heard by pedestrians on any one of the many beautiful trails that thread the length and breadth of the City of Red Deer.
What does it mean?
Most pedestrians would have no idea of its meaning.
Some of the cycling community seem to have adopted this war cry to verbally warn of their approach. Pedestrians, even though they may be lucky to get any kind of warning at all, may find it rude and offensive to be yelled at in this way.
The aforementioned cyclists may not be aware that there is a legal obligation to use a warning instrument such as a horn or a bell when approaching pedestrians, and there could be a good reason for it. Pedestrians may be talking amongst themselves, they may be listening to music or conversation on their earphones, or there may be noisy motor traffic nearby. A verbal warning may not cut through this background noise.
The tinkle of a bell or the blast of a horn is much more likely to be heard from a comfortable distance and is much more polite.
Cyclists, especially those who ride machines worth hundreds of dollars, please invest $5 or less and equip your bike with what is a legal requirement.
I have found that pedestrians are so happy and grateful to be addressed with a pleasant tinkle that they are only too willing to stand aside with a smile, and let you pass.