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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 07-16-09, 10:47 PM   #1
jakerock
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Bells, yells and whistles.

When I nearly get doored, cut off or am about to be run over I say "HEY!" In about three levels of intensity.
I try to say it in a way that will be shocking yet not offensive, cause I dont want a gun pulled, etc...


For the people on foot who are about to get run over by me, or have caused me unnecessary loss of rubber I say "LOOK out bro" or "HEADS up"... Again, with impersonal authority in hopes to not get on the bad side of one of the approximately 6 million people here in NYC that could and would kill me for pointing out that they nearly killed me.

I have seen a fair amount of people biking with whistles in mouth, and I have also seen riders SO verbal that I almost think that bicycling down the middle of a busy NYC avenue is just so that they "have a reason".

The politics must be different wherever you go, as I would hesitate to yell anything at anyone in, for instance, Germantown, KY... Most of these people are like the guy who rides to yell at cars, except they are DRIVING CARS, and are much more ignorant and angry...

What do you YOU do, or suggest?
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Old 07-16-09, 11:16 PM   #2
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I'm riding in a suburban area, but it gets plagued with beach traffic & tourists.
I rely on yelling at people like the one who turned clear across my lane and almost put me into their passengers door.
If they're in my lane, a tap on the window gets their attention pretty quickly too.
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Old 07-16-09, 11:23 PM   #3
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I ride in such a manner where I can assume the person won't hear me and I make it so they're not a threat to me. Usually that means always riding outside the door zone, never riding so close to the curb that you don't have room to dodge and passing to the left of slowdowns at corners. I don't agree with bells or auditory signals in general because you're putting the onus on someone else to hear you and avoid killing you. I prefer to assume most people are too stupid and unaware to hear any kind of signal and ride accordingly.

Occasionally when a pedestrian looks like they're going to cross my path I yell "heads up" but even that's rare.
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Old 07-16-09, 11:36 PM   #4
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I ride in such a manner where I can assume the person won't hear me and I make it so they're not a threat to me. Usually that means always riding outside the door zone, never riding so close to the curb that you don't have room to dodge and passing to the left of slowdowns at corners. I don't agree with bells or auditory signals in general because you're putting the onus on someone else to hear you and avoid killing you. I prefer to assume most people are too stupid and unaware to hear any kind of signal and ride accordingly.

Occasionally when a pedestrian looks like they're going to cross my path I yell "heads up" but even that's rare.
What he said + an occasional dose of swearage when I get the almost run-down adrenaline shot.
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Old 07-17-09, 05:30 AM   #5
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My town itself tries to be pretty bike friendly...with bike lanes on a few of the busier streets...but the way people drive here is a nightmare. Beverly isn't a busy city by any means...it's a college/beach town...and most of the drivers here are oblivious to everything. It's hard even driving my car through downtown, let along riding my bike! People are usually driving in the bike lanes downtown (trying to make two lanes out of a one lane road, so that's out. It's common practice for people to to what we call 'the creep', which is come to a half-assed stop about 15-20 feet after a stop sign and continue rolling into the intersection until other cars have no choice but to stop. Usually, at least one or two cars will attempt driving behind them. You never really know what's going to happen, but the creep can be pretty predictable most times.

A quick, polite "Hey" or "Behind you!" usually gets me by with pedestrians and people opening doors. I've also been known to yell "STOP SIGN!" and on a few occasions, come to a complete stop directly in front of a car attempting to creep and point at the stop sign. This really infuriates them.

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Old 07-17-09, 09:42 AM   #6
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has anyone tried this?

http://www.deltacycle.com/product.php?g=1
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Old 07-17-09, 10:19 AM   #7
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I tried the AirZound for about a week in Toronto. I don't know if it's quite 115db, but it's really damn loud, loud enough that I wouldn't want to use it on a regular basis. A few times when I used it cars would slow down and move to the right, as if I was an emergency vehicle, but they would invariably drift in to the bike lane I was trying to clear of cars. It sounded a fair bit like a fog horn from where I was sitting.

I ended up returning it, cold temperatures and wet conditions gave it problems. If it was below 10 degrees out I got two or three blasts out of a full pumping, compared to 40ish when it was just 10 degrees warmer. It stopped working when it was raining too, even with everything being well covered from any water getting in.
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Old 07-17-09, 10:30 AM   #8
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYkBHGurj-I
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Old 07-17-09, 10:40 AM   #9
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i can whistle pretty loud, and it gets people's attention pretty quickly.
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Old 07-17-09, 10:43 AM   #10
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I'm generally a quiet person, I usually swerve instead of yelling; which is probably a bad idea.
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Old 07-17-09, 10:58 AM   #11
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I have a bell for pedestrians, sometimes they don't react due to the large amount of handcarts and vender bikes with bells so I have to treat them the same way I treat the cars and yell "WATCHE LEY" (sp) really loud. Yeah, it's supposed to be Spanish for "watch out". It's the only way to make sure I'm understood quickly and clearly around here.
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Old 07-17-09, 11:00 AM   #12
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i just do the ho ho like a cowboy and get on with it they here me
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Old 07-17-09, 12:02 PM   #13
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I have a bell for pedestrians, sometimes they don't react due to the large amount of handcarts and vender bikes with bells so I have to treat them the same way I treat the cars and yell "WATCHE LEY" (sp) really loud. Yeah, it's supposed to be Spanish for "watch out". It's the only way to make sure I'm understood quickly and clearly around here.
I'm pretty sure that doesn't mean **** all in spanish.
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Old 07-17-09, 12:31 PM   #14
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My spelling in Spanish sucks, it's a wonder I even try to speak it and just know the basics like cuss words and what to say if your on the 4th floor and drop a hammer heading for the ground floor at a construction site. I assure you that yelling "HEADS" but more likely "WATCHELEY" (since a lot of construction crews hardly have anyone that is comfortable with the English language) is appropriate. It works 100% of the time even among non-Spanish speakers.

Of course this is practical real world knowledge so you will most likely have no real idea.

There is also the possibility that, from what I understand, Mexicans speak a highly *******ized form of Spanish (I've heard this from PR guys I've known in the Army and from my wife that lived for 5 years in PR who constantly gets compliments for her clear Spanish). Could be what is acceptable from the largely Mexican population here doesn't work as well with people that speak a more pure form of Spanish.

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Old 07-17-09, 04:52 PM   #15
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I'm still very uncertain just what words exactly "watcheley" are supposed to be. Watch it guey? even that's weird. I'm a bit ocd so now im gonna go crazy trying to figure out what you're trying to say.
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Old 07-17-09, 06:56 PM   #16
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Okay don't go spastic.

Asked the Ol' Lady and she tells me that it's not real Spanish at all but more a kind of Spanglish used by those guys that tend to cross back and forth over the border on a regular basis. It does tend to be used mostly in dangerous work enviraments like construction sites where people that speak Spanish and English may co-mingle. Used to give a warning, it is easily recognisable by English and Spanish speakers as a warning while remaining brief and to the point.
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Old 07-17-09, 11:09 PM   #17
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I have recently noticed that I mindlessly say "f'ing ******BAG" alot to people who are coming at me the wrong way on a bike or a skateboard. Im a little worried about this because I dont really think about it.

Then again, if someone who was wanton-ly playing with my life couldnt take being called a ******bag I would probably also throw down without much thought. I would almost certainly get my ass kicked and regret it on many levels. Its hard for me to control my mouth when people are salmoning up the street right at me. I really take deep offense. Maybe I NEED to get my ass kicked for some perspective.

[edit] Maybe this is just in my nature... I have had 4 beers and have been listening to my neighbors party in the backyard for 4 nights in a row. I am ready to stick my fat drunk head out the window and start talking offensively... Guess I should go for a ride or something. Christ. [/edit]

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Old 07-17-09, 11:16 PM   #18
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I tried the whistle thing but it made me drool a lot
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Old 07-17-09, 11:23 PM   #19
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i do some rendition of "AY OH HEY HO YO WHOA AYY AYY!"
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Old 07-18-09, 02:02 AM   #20
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I've also noticed that trying to get the attention of pedestrians is almost impossible. They're usually plugged into an ipod or phone and either can't hear or use it as an excuse to ignore everyone/thing. So I don't bother with them.
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Old 07-18-09, 02:14 AM   #21
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I usually pull my break levers in and let them out really quick making a springloaded snap sound. People 95% of the time people get out of m way.
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Old 07-18-09, 06:35 AM   #22
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While not the coolest thing, I have an incredibell mounted upside down on my bar so it's in a sort of push trigger mode (plus it looks much less dorky). Works wonders. People get out of the way first, look second and no one is offended or shocked when I go past.
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Old 07-19-09, 09:00 PM   #23
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I was walking down the street one day and this guy biking behind me said "I'm going to come up over here by your left side, here." It was the most polite yet verbose version of "on your left".
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Old 07-20-09, 12:35 PM   #24
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While not the coolest thing, I have an incredibell mounted upside down on my bar so it's in a sort of push trigger mode (plus it looks much less dorky). Works wonders. People get out of the way first, look second and no one is offended or shocked when I go past.
I have a similar thing. The crane bell. Makes a single 'bing!' and that's it.


Looks totally lame on a FG, but hey, what do i care? It's on my commuting bike.. and going up 6th avenue from brooklyn, is dangerous not to have one. (times square tourists...)
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Old 07-20-09, 04:52 PM   #25
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I like Skeletor's "Hep! Hep! Hep!"
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