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  1. #1
    The Mississippi Flash triggerracing's Avatar
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    I'm getting a bell!!!!

    Since I started riding on the local MUP I've tried to follow etiquette and call out my intentions when passing walkers/joggers. But this seems to be scaring them more than if I just buzzed by them. I've had a couple actually jump completely off the track and one lady yelled "Get a bell". Now she had a pleasant tone, so I didn't take offense. There is not a large bicycling community in my small rural area and I haven't seen another cyclist on the track so I don't think it's something they are used to. So I'm gonna try a bell and see how that goes. Maybe even a squeeze horn lol.

    Oh, and discovered the thrill of headwinds today. The MUP runs along side a waterway and the end I started on runs by the lake that is formed by the Lock. Going north I must have been headed into what felt like a 10-15 mph headwind. It was brutal. I had to get in a gear I normally would use for a small hill. On the other side I was able to really keep up a good cadence on the return loop. Sure was glad I had the local LBS put on some road tires the other day.

  2. #2
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    I have a bell on both my MUPable bikes and totally recommend them. Bells are easily understood no matter what your native language and are (generally) not considered offensive but rather more in the "gentle reminder" category.

    The only downside, really, is if you get to where you expect everyone to hear the bell and don't notice the i-pod users who for sure won't hear it! A friend of mine (Alice Strong) recommends using two bells (maybe the two different tones get more attention?) rather than just one.

    Rick / OCRR

  3. #3
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    I just ring with increasing frequency until I get a response out of a pedestrian. Even with ear buds they eventually hear the bell.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  4. #4
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    Call me a retro curmudgeon, but I have be honest and say that I hate bells and using one would make me feel like a total dork. Sorry. I know they have a long and honorable history but in today's frantic, wound-up world, they give me that irritating "excuse me, excuse me, but I have to get through" feeling. Like someone pushing past you to get to the baggage carousel, or shoving their kid in front of you at a museum exhibit.

    I like to ride in silence.

    The problem is that bike trails have become victims of their own success. Some popular routes here in Minneapolis are now so crowded and so full of flaky, oblivious people that I avoid them and take the streets.

  5. #5
    The Mississippi Flash triggerracing's Avatar
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    Luckily I didn't have to call out but one time today, there were only two people walking today, braving the cool snap after the storm came through and the nasty wind coming off the water.

  6. #6
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    A bell is a good idea if you're riding where people are walking, or on paths where it may be difficult to pass slower cyclists. For some reason - I've never figured out why - pedestrians seem to be less alarmed by a bell than by someone calling out. Maybe they interpret a shout as being more aggressive, or something. Anyway, go with what works, is my view, so I have a bell on my touring bike, which is the one I'm likeliest to use in those circumstances.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  7. #7
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    For every person that will react to a bell with the correct procedure- there will be one that doesn't hear it- ignores it or doesn't know what it means.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  8. #8
    Senior Member bigbadwullf's Avatar
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    When I saw the word "bell" why is it the first thought in my mind was MUP

    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...S/exercise.png

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  9. #9
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Have found that bells that jingle or have a high pleasant tone are better then those with a loud short tone... jingly bells seem to invoke happy thoughts of childhood and days past.

    Crane brass bells are beautiful.

    Found that I much prefer having a bell than not... part of my daily route tales me through multi use areas where a bell really helps notify people that I am pootling along and really helps with those who have dogs.

  10. #10
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Bell for normal people, Airzounds for the oblivious.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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  11. #11
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    I find that just as many people startle at my bell as when I yell. Headphones\earbuds are a whole 'nother level. Always say thank you, it works wonders.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Bell for normal people, Airzounds for the oblivious.
    +1. Quarter of the people on a given MUP respond correctly to the bell, the second quarter stop, wander all over the path, and stare up in the trees looking for that funny tinkling sound, and the last half don't (won't?) hear a bell, or a call, because their headphones are turned up.

    (Why do they even go outside? If you're taking your treadmill experience with you, stay in the gym!)

  13. #13
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    When I'm in the role of pedestrian on our MUP, I prefer cyclists give me a verbal warning. A bell just tells me someone is coming, but not which side they intend to pass on. I hear a bell and all I can do is hope the rider knows the rules of the trail. "On your left" at least lets me know where to expect them, or if they shout "on your right," it tells me they're nuts and I need to seek cover immediately.

    I'd also be interested in knowing what the "correct" response to a bell or other warning is. This is going to sound curmudgeonly in the extreme, but I've had cyclists angrily repeat their shout of "on your left" to me, too, because I don't move out of their way when they shout it. If they shout it more than once, I'll gesture to let them know I've heard them, but I figure they've told me where they're going to pass, and we all should understand the rules of the road. If I'm already on my side of the center line, it's not my responsibility to yield to them. As a pedestrian, I have the right of way - they go around me. And if there's oncoming traffic, the overtaking cyclist is supposed to slow and wait to pass, not try to do a high-speed squeeze between me and the oncoming person. I'd say about 20% do that, the other 80% will buzz by within a couple of inches.
    Last edited by CraigB; 09-06-11 at 02:13 PM.
    Craig in Indy

  14. #14
    Senior Member jdswitters's Avatar
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    I have one for all 4 bikes. couldn't cycle here on the trails without it.
    Torker Graduate, 288 rods a day without pub detours.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    When I'm in the role of pedestrian on our MUP, I prefer cyclists give me a verbal warning. A bell just tells me someone is coming, but not which side they intend to pass on. I hear a bell and all I can do is hope the rider knows the rules of the trail. "On your left" at least lets me know where to expect them, or if they shout "on your right," it tells me they're nuts and I need to seek cover immediately.

    I'd also be interested in knowing what the "correct" response to a bell or other warning is. This is going to sound curmudgeonly in the extreme, but I've had cyclists angrily repeat their shout of "on your left" to me, too, because I don't move out of their way when they shout it. If they shout it more than once, I'll gesture to let them know I've heard them, but I figure they've told me where they're going to pass, and we all should understand the rules of the road. If I'm already on my side of the center line, it's not my responsibility to yield to them. As a pedestrian, I have the right of way - they go around me. And if there's oncoming traffic, the overtaking cyclist is supposed to slow and wait to pass, not try to do a high-speed squeeze between me and the oncoming person. I'd say about 20% do that, the other 80% will buzz by within a couple of inches.
    The problem with "on your left", is that it requires that someone be listening for a voice to be speaking to them, and often all they get is "eft" or maybe left, but does that mean they are passing on the left or do they want you to go left. A bell tells you where someone is, so you can turn, see where they are, and then make sure your going to be in a different physical space. Often that simply means staying where you are, so the person who is notifying you, can remain in a different physical place.

  16. #16
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    I got tired of "saying on your left" to people who apparently thought I was saying "swerve to your left right now!"

    My bell, cleverly concealed:


  17. #17
    ES&D t4mv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Bell for normal people, Airzounds for the oblivious.
    I may have to try this; this past Sunday the family & I are cruising the MUP by one of my kids' campus and come upon a young woman/girl happily riding along right in the middle of the path. From a fair ways off I say "on your left" No reaction. I repeat it again as I get closer (and louder, too). Nuthin' Finally I'm right next to her (I kid you not) and I'm yelling at the top of my lungs "HELLLOOOOO!!!!!" right at the side of her head. Nuthin...

    It's the few times that I encounter folks like this that I refuse to ride on MUPs unless coerced to by TOWMBO.

  18. #18
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    At the risk of just re-opening an old topic that is a sore point for some: I absolutely do not 'get' these so-called multi-use trails. In my mind, bicycles and pedestrians should never be, and historically have never been, sharing a path or lane. Originally, bikes were in streets and pedestrians were on sidewalks. Then - and mistakenly, in my opinion - people pushed for off-road cyling paths that in many cases paralleled the roads. Many pedestrians refused to observe the signs, so these paths became clogged with strollers, roller-bladers and runners. Local governments and park boards had no will or resources to enforce rules for use of these trails, so they simply punted the whole issue and began marking them "Multi Use".

    I feel that if I need to ring a bell to get through, I'm obviously cycling in the wrong place.

    Speaking only for myself here - I never cycle on a "multi-use" trail if there's an alternative.

  19. #19
    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim hughes View Post
    Call me a retro curmudgeon, but I have be honest and say that I hate bells and using one would make me feel like a total dork. Sorry. I know they have a long and honorable history but in today's frantic, wound-up world, they give me that irritating "excuse me, excuse me, but I have to get through" feeling. Like someone pushing past you to get to the baggage carousel, or shoving their kid in front of you at a museum exhibit.

    I like to ride in silence.

    The problem is that bike trails have become victims of their own success. Some popular routes here in Minneapolis are now so crowded and so full of flaky, oblivious people that I avoid them and take the streets.
    OK - You are a retro curmudgeon -

    There
    Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone

  20. #20
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Personally, when I've been walking and heard a bell, it has taken me a few seconds to put it into context and realize "Oh, it's a (quaint old-fashioned) cyclist..." and respond. They are not the norm here, and I don't like them as a pedestrian/dog walker, nor as a cyclist who rides a MUP a few times a week. The only time I've felt a bell had value was where there was a tunnel under a road, which immediately crossed another path. I had my leashed dog, heard a bell in the tunnel, and knew to watch out. That was 'gentler' than someone shouting for general purposes going through the tunnel, messing with the evening vibe.

    IMO, the range of a bell is too short. At 18-20mph, you are going to be running someone down before they hear a bell, interpret it, and react. I know that a walker is not likely to make out my first couple of words, but they will get their attention, so I use a series of phrases, in rapid succession, along these lines:

    "Bicycling coming up."
    "On your left."
    "Plenty of room." (assuming there is)
    "No need to do anything"
    "Thank you very much!"

    I know how to "project", and I do everything I can to get them to just keep walking and skooch over a bit if need be.

    It cracked me up last Saturday when our ride was re-grouping along the side of the road, and a cyclist came past, on a road bike, ringing a bell. We were all stopped, had obviously seen her, and yet she felt the need to ring her bell as she went by. Huh? I also noticed that, when we got back going and went by her, saying good morning, she didn't reply. Damned roadies. :-)
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  21. #21
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
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    I have an "incredibell" (what spike has in his photo, above) and it works very well. I've never liked saying "on your left". It simply confuses many. They turn slightly, then their eyes widen and they do a little dance. The bell works much better. I give plenty of advance warning.

    Alternative: I have also found that whistling the theme from old TV shows also works, provided the parties in front of you aren't using music player earphones. I can do "The Addams Family", and of course, "Andy Griffith".
    I thought I was suffering from depression once. Turned out, I was simply surrounded by idiots.

  22. #22
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    Personally, when I've been walking and heard a bell, it has taken me a few seconds to put it into context and realize "Oh, it's a (quaint old-fashioned) cyclist..." and respond. They are not the norm here, and I don't like them as a pedestrian/dog walker, nor as a cyclist who rides a MUP a few times a week. The only time I've felt a bell had value was where there was a tunnel under a road, which immediately crossed another path. I had my leashed dog, heard a bell in the tunnel, and knew to watch out. That was 'gentler' than someone shouting for general purposes going through the tunnel, messing with the evening vibe.

    IMO, the range of a bell is too short. At 18-20mph, you are going to be running someone down before they hear a bell, interpret it, and react. I know that a walker is not likely to make out my first couple of words, but they will get their attention, so I use a series of phrases, in rapid succession, along these lines:

    "Bicycling coming up."
    "On your left."
    "Plenty of room." (assuming there is)
    "No need to do anything"
    "Thank you very much!"

    I know how to "project", and I do everything I can to get them to just keep walking and skooch over a bit if need be.

    It cracked me up last Saturday when our ride was re-grouping along the side of the road, and a cyclist came past, on a road bike, ringing a bell. We were all stopped, had obviously seen her, and yet she felt the need to ring her bell as she went by. Huh? I also noticed that, when we got back going and went by her, saying good morning, she didn't reply. Damned roadies. :-)
    IMHO 18-20mph is entirely to fast to be riding on an MUP. I use a bell on the MUP; I ring it well in advance of overtaking, people will glance over their shoulder and either move slightly to their right or determine that I have sufficient clearance to overtake them safely. I keep my speeds around pedestrians in the 10mph range and don't hesitate to slow down more if the conditions warrant.

    We don't have any MUP's where I live so my experience with them is limited to the few times I ride them in other parts of the country. The most I ever rode them was in the Iowa City area. I only rode them for limited distances to get around high auto traffic areas, ie; 8 lane intersections with high speed merges off the Interstate.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

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    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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    _krazygluon

  23. #23
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    I used to say "on your left" but I suppose its like "column Left march", they get confused, so I just yell "passing",hopefully loud enough to hear it over the ear buds,or in case the hearing aid isn't turned up...
    Bud

  24. #24
    The Mississippi Flash triggerracing's Avatar
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    Maybe I'll try some playing cards in the spokes lol

  25. #25
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    Most of my bikes have bells just because I like them. But I live near one of the largest retirement communities in the country, and a lot of those folks simply can't hear high-pitched sounds. Combined with the folks who have their iPods set on "stun", and the folks who haven't the slightest idea what a bicycle bell signifies, well, my best bet is just to stay as far away from other MUP users as possible.

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