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  1. #1
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    Does it take an air horn or similar to make idiots on the MUP pay attention?

    To avoid collision with a biker not watching where he was going ( three abreast taking the whole path) I had to go off the paved MUP and hit the grass - and do a little dabbing of the foot down to keep my self upright when I went back onto the pavement.

    Did 44 miles today - in the last mile, saw three abreast coming at me - not that uncommon, the guy on my side appeared to be moving in then wandered back directly into my path - I shouted " on your left" - he looked up - swerved left, then back right - thankfully - but we were so close, when he swerved to a head-on with me, I took more right and couldn't avoid the grass.

    I've been biking about six weeks - four hundred plus miles, the only other really close call some kid in full roadie kit talking up two girls beside him - barely made it back in to avoid a collision with me, I'm shouting "on your left" "give me room"

    So far, I only ride this paved path.

    I have been thinking about a bell, but these two idiots wouldn't have heard it.

    Air horn seems extreme - but I would rather do that than have a collision with some idiot.

    Obviously, have to watch more than two like a hawk, but is there anything between air horn and bell?
    Last edited by Triode; 08-22-11 at 08:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Ride on the roads...with an airhorn. MUP's seem to be filled with non attentive idiots most of the time. My favorites are the ones riding with the ear buds in, sometimes I want to ride up behind them and snatch the wires as I ride by.

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  3. #3
    Peddler Seamless's Avatar
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    Inflatable cow-catcher on the front?
    Water ******?

    Sometimes yelling "WATCH OUT" or "WAKE UP" works, and nobody needs extra time to calculate right/left perspective shifts.
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  4. #4
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    Based on my recent experience, I sometimes do prefer to deal with traffic and cars than bikers on the trails, or people with dogs on long leashes, walkers blocking the trail. Etc etc.

  5. #5
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    "on your left" during a head on?

  6. #6
    CRIKEY!!!!!!! Cyclaholic's Avatar
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    I'm rocking a surly LHT.... I don't call out "on your left", I call out "eyes up" and hold my line. I've had a few glancing sideswipes over the years but I've never felt I was in any risk of going down, probably because of the inertia of a 240 rider on a 35lb steel touring bike.

    Given the choice I prefer 10 glancing sideswipes from 10 inattentive cyclists than just one from an inattentive motorist any day.
    Last edited by Cyclaholic; 08-22-11 at 08:41 PM.
    There are 10 types of people in the world - the ones that can count in base 2, the ones that can't count in base 2, and the ones that didn't expect this to be in base 3.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    A bell works for me when riding a MUP. I've found that shouting on your left or right, just makes the pedestrian confused so you never know which way they'll jump. Of course when in doubt I just slow down for a short time. Yes some pedestrians wear ear buds, OTOH so do some bicyclists

  8. #8
    Ridin' South Cackalacky dahut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triode View Post
    To avoid collision with a biker not watching where he was going ( three abreast taking the whole path) I had to go off the paved MUP and hit the grass - and do a little dabbing of the foot down to keep my self upright when I went back onto the pavement.

    Did 44 miles today - in the last mile, saw three abreast coming at me - not that uncommon, the guy on my side appeared to be moving in then wandered back directly into my path - I shouted " on your left" - he looked up - swerved left, then back right - thankfully - but we were so close, when he swerved to a head-on with me, I took more right and couldn't avoid the grass.

    I've been biking about six weeks - four hundred plus miles, the only other really close call some kid in full roadie kit talking up two girls beside him - barely made it back in to avoid a collision with me, I'm shouting "on your left" "give me room"

    So far, I only ride this paved path.

    I have been thinking about a bell, but these two idiots wouldn't have heard it.

    Air horn seems extreme - but I would rather do that than have a collision with some idiot.

    Obviously, have to watch more than two like a hawk, but is there anything between air horn and bell?
    The thing to do is be smarter than the other riders. Pay attention well in advance of approaching them, and signal from afar.
    Waiting until you are upon them is suicide - you never know what people are going to do. I use a bell and I start ringing it well away.
    There is no sound like a bicycle bell to alert others to a bicycle. Immediately when they hear it, they know what to look for. Air horns and merely shouting, well, that stuff is directionless noise to most people. But a bike bell says "BIKE!" and they know what to expect.

    The next thing to do is get the hell away from people, for the most part. Once you get serious as you have, they will mess you up. Riding on paths and other greenways requires you to chill out and take it easy. Many of the people using them are "relaxing" and in their own little world, too often. Guys like you, the ones on a mission, end up being a Fred or worse, a potential danger to the rest of the casual, oblivious slow-pokes. Just wait til you run afoul of an ill-mannered dog on its leash.
    Seriously, you haven't had any fun till that happens.

    You must get away from the paths as soon as is practical. Use them when you must, of course. But take it slow when on them. I'd start planning other routes that will both challenge you AND get you away from all the hindrance.
    Last edited by dahut; 08-22-11 at 09:07 PM.
    "Watch out for giants; they are boorish fools with tongues wagging, drunk upon their own words.
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  9. #9
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    I've all but stopped yelling "On your left" because at the best it causes people to stop dead which is dangerous, at worst it often causes them to veer directly left and thus right into you. Yelling out "Heads up" or even "Coming through" is better because it's more neutral sounding and doesn't cause people to hear only "...LEFT!" and then run into you. However, a good attention-getter that is less bulky than an air horn but louder than a bell is this:

    http://www.industrialbicycles.com/megahorn.htm

    I've got an old one of these that is a bit busted up, but I plan on buying a new one to replace it. The only thing I don't like is that the cord that runs to the trigger just isn't long enough. I like to mount the horn on the head-tube portion of the stem, below the actual stem. Ideally, the cord would be long enough to run underneath the bar tape and then attach the trigger button near the right brake hood. I'll probably rewire the new one to do just that.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    "on your left" during a head on?
    I want room on his left, so it seemed like a good idea at the time ;<)

    Quote Originally Posted by kiltedcelt View Post
    However, a good attention-getter that is less bulky than an air horn but louder than a bell is this:http://www.industrialbicycles.com/megahorn.htm
    I may give something on that link a try, looks pretty good.

    I am for all practical purposes, semi-retired. So, normally - when I am on this path, sometime between usually ten and two or so, it is serious lunch time workout folks, or similar. Great path, the stretch I ride is oh maybe 80% bikes, 10% joggers, 5% walkers, the rest is misc skateboarders, rollerbladers, etc.

    However, today was the first time I came in after five PM. Everything changed.

    There are several miles closer to city center that I avoid because of kids,dogs, simply too many users. This ten mile stretch has a few road crossings, most of the sections are too far for most walkers and joggers so it usually works out pretty well for bikers. Weekends I usually avoid, but right now - after five PM on a pretty day looks like something I will try to avoid.
    Last edited by Triode; 08-22-11 at 09:39 PM.

  11. #11
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triode View Post
    I want room on his left, so it seemed like a good idea at the time ;<)
    The just about universal shout for someone overtaking another rider from behind is "on your left!".

    You probably confused the guy. Or left him thinking "who the heck was that guy passing? I didn't see anybody ahead of him".

  12. #12
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    I carry a concealed ******. I just pop off a few rounds in the general direction and everyone gets out of the way...

    Seriously, I don't ride the MUP trails much, and when I do I just slow down. If they are crowded it's a stupid place to try to go fast. Non-bikers don't really know what to do when someone's yelling "on your left". Although I don't have one, I do think a bicycle bell would be the best option.

  13. #13
    Senior Member bigbadwullf's Avatar
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    Glad we have no MUPs. Just nice, quiet back roads. And that's why I left the city life a long time ago. Sorry.

    I work with the public all day in a profession where you have to give people directions on "left and right". I'd say a bare minimum of 50% of the public doesn't know their left from their right. Sad but true. Take that for what it's worth.
    Last edited by bigbadwullf; 08-23-11 at 08:31 AM.

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  14. #14
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Heads up, or Look Out gets a better reaction in my experience. It's no use yelling after the fact of course.

    Unfortunately it almost never gets better on the MUP, only worse. Every few weeks I have some guy coming head on, passing a family group on a blind corner swinging wide. It seems like newer riders don't think ahead, never slow down. My advice from painful experience is move right and stay straight so they don't get confused on which way to dodge. Just like a squirrel, same reactions.

  15. #15
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    My worst experience on the MUP involved a walker with a leashed dog. The guy was letting the dog wander all over the path, which would have caused me to trip over the leash. I tried yelling at him to get his dog over, but ended up having to go on the grass.

  16. #16
    The Fat Guy In The Back Tundra_Man's Avatar
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    Been a while since I've had someone coming at me in my lane that didn't move over. The last time it happened was a couple of summers ago. There was a family out riding the MUP and the father was in the left lane chatting away with his wife and paying no attention to me approaching. This stretch of the MUP is flat and straight and he could have seen me coming a mile away had he looked.

    Starting a ways back I rang my bell, no response. I rang my bell again, still no response. I rang my bell a third time, which got the wife's attention. She started trying to interrupt the guy to point out that I was coming. By this time, I had pretty much stopped in my lane and the guy was still riding towards me, so I screamed, "HEADS UP!!!" That finally got his attention and startled him so bad he nearly took his wife out when he swerved back to the right.

    On an unrelated note, this morning I was out riding my vintage road bike that has cheap steel wheels (this winter's goal is to replace them.) There was a woman walking up ahead, and I started debating what I should say to tell her I was coming. "On your left?" "Passing?" "Good morning?" About 50 yards behind her I hit the brakes to slow for a railroad track. My crappy front wheel squealed so loud that it startled the lady. It was louder than the Airzound on my regular commuter. I guess that answered my question on how to let her know I was going to pass.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triode View Post
    Did 44 miles today - in the last mile, saw three abreast coming at me - not that uncommon, the guy on my side appeared to be moving in then wandered back directly into my path - I shouted " on your left" - he looked up - swerved left, then back right - thankfully - but we were so close, when he swerved to a head-on with me, I took more right and couldn't avoid the grass.
    "On your left"?? No wonder he was confused!

    Use that when passing (on their left side).

    Quote Originally Posted by Triode View Post
    I want room on his left, so it seemed like a good idea at the time ;<)
    Where the other two were riding?

  18. #18
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    To allow enough reaction time, you need to scream at them a long way away. Almost all cyclists do not allow enough time for anyone to think and then act. If you are close enough to anyone to not have to yell you are not far enough away to allow them reaction time. This is the bike riders mistake, for waiting too long.

    If you are just going ten miles per hour, you travel 14.6 feet in one second. So 15 feet is already too close. 30feet would be safe, but you need to yell.

    15 mph is 22 feet in one second. 30 or 40 feet would be safe. Do you yell loud enough? Yelling is the best thing, but keep it short the others need time to react. I just say "PASSING", if it's more words it takes longer to understand. Two bikes facing each other with each one going 10MPH ..is 29.33 feet in one second. Of course turning on to the grass is very quick, but stopping head on is too late

    Bell is good but you need to take your hand off the bars and be close. Yelling requires no movements of your hands.
    Yelling is by far the best. It weighs nothing and is also free. Horns work too, but not any better than yelling.

    Some people are embaresed by yelling. It may make some other people mad. Who cares? Choose safety over politeness. If it is someone who is angered by your yelling, than a horn or a bell would likely made them mad too. That makes them an idiot for not being aware of the surroundings. After two decades of experimenting with everything possible, I choose the voice. Don't care who gets upset, it's not important. Some people will be able to act correctly in less time, but how do you know who they are? A full 2 seconds is best.

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  19. #19
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triode View Post
    saw three abreast coming at me
    Let me guess - two guys with one girl in the middle - right?

    There is no solution to that combination because, if either guy backs off, he would be yielding his alpha-dog rights to the other. Pretty much the only thing the rest of us can do is to move aside and let the courting behavior take it's place. Eventually one of the guys will just fade away - I don't even know where they fade to. Then you'll just have the two love birds coming at you and they tend to ride close together so they don't take up much room.

    Oh - and the air horn - that just turns you into another category of irksome trail user.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    and the air horn - that just turns you into another category of irksome trail user.
    at the moment that seems better to me than a collision with the irksome trail user that won't watch where he is going.

    To be clear -

    I seriously doubt I would use an air horn unless I actually start riding on the road. One major reason not to do so, is so that I will not suffer further hearing loss.

    Am seriously considering various alternatives, however. And if someone taking up my side of the path gets "irked", then I really don't care.
    Last edited by Triode; 08-23-11 at 11:08 AM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triode View Post
    Am seriously considering various alternatives, however. And if someone taking up my side of the path gets "irked", then I really don't care.
    So what are you trying to accomplish? Creating more disharmony is not going to make the environment more harmonious.

  22. #22
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Sing an operatic oratorio, as you ride ,
    it is amazing how much room they give you

    even whistling a tune as I ride lets people know I'm back there


    If the headphones are plugs in the ears , and the tunes are cranked up,
    only the EMP of a nuke will fry the chips and shut those down

    Had a temptation to put my front wheel between the legs
    of Gidget in the Bikini on roller blades, oblivious to any one else.

    Huntington Beach MUP, LA , so loose sand on all sides of that,
    no place to pass on the grass.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    So what are you trying to accomplish?
    I am attempting to accomplish attracting the attention of those who are not paying attention and I wish to avoid the major disharmony of a collision.

    If people hogging the path wish for harmony, then they should not take up all of the path. If they take up all of the path, they are placing themselves in a disharmonious situation.

  24. #24
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Yes.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Never had this happen to me. Perhaps being 240 makes me noticable to idiots.

    But now I'll be ready.

    No airhorn for me, I'll just yell out "Ramming Speed" as loud as I can.

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