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It is common courtesy in the U.S. for runners, joggers, and cyclists to announce their presence to others, especially when approaching from behind, by shouting:

Right!

or

Left!

This informs the other pedestrian or cyclist that they are about to be passed on their right or left, respectively.

I have never noticed this happening while riding in Mexico. But even if it's not common, I would like to do the same, for my safety and the safety of those around me. What's the proper way to do this?

I could simply shout ¡Derecha! or ¡Izquierda!, but would people know what I mean? Do I need a more complete phrase?

¡Le paso a su derecha!

Is there a standard way to do this? If not, what's they best way to convey my meaning in as short a phrase as possible?

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1  
Or you could use this technique... – Rodrigo A. Pérez Sep 7 '13 at 14:49

This answer assumes you are interested in dealing with Mexican pedestrians.

There is not a culture of sharing the road and sidewalks with cyclists. Cars and buses will take advantage of your slow speed, while pedestrians will feel you are taking more than your share of sidewalk. Thus, simply put, a standard rule for what you ask has never evolved.

The problem remains to warn people when you do risk it out there. ¡derecha! or ¡izquierda! are misleading. ¿Do I move to the right, or is someone passing on the right? The first thing that came to my mind was ¡cuidado a la derecha/izquierda! It is as short as I can think.

However, it may be better to use something more colorful and less concrete for maximum impact. ¿What about ¡paso! ¡paso! ¡paso! ¡paso! and let them figure out where are you coming from by the direction of the incoming voice? I think you would blend in better that way...

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2  
Or "golpe avisa" :). – c.p. Sep 3 '13 at 6:16
3  
Here in Spain "¡paso!" is the only exclamation I've ever heard in this context. – Gorpik Sep 3 '13 at 7:55
1  
"ahi le voy"... – Alfredo Osorio Sep 3 '13 at 20:30

In Perú we use: "Permiso" or "Cuidado", maybe you can use a bell.

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2  
A bell is the right term in English. And I'm thinking very seriously about buying one (even though I think it will look funny on my cyclocross bicycle... :) – Flimzy Sep 6 '13 at 18:42
1  
And ringing a bell in English is the same as in Spanish: ¡Ring! ¡Ring! – JoulSauron Sep 7 '13 at 14:25

At least, here in Chile, we don't have a common way to warn someone, but you could certainly just shout loudly "aaah" or better yet, just scream "¡cuidado!" (careful) o "¡disculpe!" (excuse me).

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Also we can use "¡Cuidado!". At least in Spain. I use it frequently.

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In Costa Rica we would say "¡voy!" (for "¡voy a pasar!") It's short and easily comprehensible I'd say. The direction you're coming from would in this case be inferred by the receptor.

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As Rodrigo accurately said, that sharing culture does not apply to all people in México, probably if you are driving you could use: "Comper" (short-slang expression for "con [su] permiso"), another slang: "Aguas, aguas, aguas", a little more appropriate: "Cuidado"; aggressive but effective: "Muévete" or "Quítate", but use these last two with measure and for some emergency, people could get aggressive too, in fact, if you are polite people could also react wrong with some "colorful folklore words"...

Finally, and just for completing the idea, not exactly about the question... that's if you are driving... but if you plan to walk or cycling, be careful, it could be VERY dangerous.

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I am adding this summary following what was discussed in Juntemos en respuestas wiki las respuestas cortas específicas de regiones. Feel free to edit to add the term used in your country or region.


Chile

  • ¡Aah!
  • ¡Cuidado!
  • ¡Disculpe!
  • ¡Permiso!

Colombia

  • ¡Permiso!

Costa Rica

  • ¡Voy! (voy a pasar)

España

  • ¡Cuidado!
  • ¡Paso!

México

  • ¡Paso!
  • ¡Permiso!
  • Comper (con su permiso)
  • Muévete / quítate

Perú

  • Cuidado
  • Permiso
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Los chilenos no somos muy educados, lo saben los visitantes. Aquí un ciclista no se anunciaría, o lo haría con un insulto o algo crudo como "sale güevón". – Rodrigo yesterday

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