I had a very productive weekend. It was too stinkin’ hot to go for a cycle out to an outlying pub on Saturday. And Sunday morning we woke up later than anticipated which meant no ride in the Gatineau Park. As it turns out, there was a race going on in the park, and we’ve been there done that.

Based on the feedback on facebook and this blog, I decided to go with this version:

I made the bib out of an old sheet that had a tear in it. It’s actually beige, not white, but you can’t really tell in this pic. I cut off the elasticized corners and then realized I could use the elastic. So far, no cost.

I measured the length by going from where I remembered my bib going during the Five Boro Bike Tour up to my shoulder. Then I multiplied that by two and added an inch for hems. I think it was about 35 x 11″. To  make the neck hole, I folded it from short end to end, then side to side. I used a piece of chalk to make a round L and cut through the four layers of fabric.

I ironed it flat, then ironed up my hems, making a double fold around the edges and single fold around the neck. Before I sewed around all the edges, I inserted a 4-inch piece of elastic under the side hem, about two inches from the bottom. After I’d sewn the front pieces in, I added them to the back when I got closer to sewing that section. For the neck, I used a zigzag stitch to keep it from unraveling.

I wasn’t too keen on the colours I used but it was fabric paint I’d bought eons ago. And being cheap, I didn’t want to have to splurge. I’d already printed off the options so I used that as my guide. If we’d had toner in the colour cartridge, I probably would have done an iron-on transfer. But I’m not sure how it would have turned out on beige.  So instead I used the printed version underneath, which also caught any excess paint from going through to the other side. After drying for four hours, it was ready to wear.

I wore it this morning, and watched in frustration as half a dozen spandex clad guys cycled past the intersection while I waited for the light to change. So my ride in this morning was uneventful.

The ride home was more interesting. I could see a cyclist coming up behind. And yes, he was wearing spandex. He was going slow enough that I’m sure he could read the sign on my back. But he didn’t ring his bell. As he passed, I check out his bike, and guess what? NO BELL!

The second cyclist passed me near Remic Rapids (although there’s not much water creating rapids these days). Although he was clad in spandex, he rang his bell. Result! As he passed, I yelled out THANK YOU!

He slowed down and said he liked what I was wearing on my back. I told him I’d had so many bad experiences last week I’d decided to do something about it. I explained how I’d come up with the expression and then designed and made the bib. He said he wished more people would ring or call out too. And he put forward the other side of the problem: people who get mad when you do ring.

I propose that the best etiquette is to ring when you’re close enough that the person will hear you, but not so close that you startle them. Then, when you’re closer, call out “passing on your left”. What people don’t want is for you the “dinger” to assume that ringing the bell means I’ll pull over for you to pass. It simply announces that you’re coming up behind me. You still need to wait until it’s safe to pass, unless I pull over to the far right giving you enough room.