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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 08-13-10, 01:07 PM   #1
xargaun
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do you use a bell?

if so, do people listen?

i have been dropping my daughter off at school on my way to work for the past couple weeks, and this route takes me around the beach. the road along the beach is narrow and crowded so i have opted to use the multi-use path along the beach. it is paved, about 12 feet wide and for a big portion there are actually separate paths for feet and wheels.

through the last two weeks i have noticed something interesting. i dutifully ring my bell whenever i approach someone from behind, and i have unscientifically determined that the only people who hear it are the ones who are already walking or running to the right hand side and don't need to give way (in other words the people i am simply trying to alert that i'm approaching, not the ones i am asking to let me pass).

however, the people walking against the flow, walking abreast and blocking the whole path, or just wandering, never seem to flinch even in the slightest at repeated rings of the bell (it is the loudest brass bell i could find), and i end up having to do something creative or dangerous to get past them (like riding off into the grass to go around or squeezing between them and the shrubs. after you've rung the bell several times and shouted "excuse me" a couple times, what else can you do?

my big dummy has dyno hubs front and rear, so i am thinking i may just upgrade the bell to an air horn. :-)
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Old 08-13-10, 09:14 PM   #2
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the beach below our place has a divided pathway marked for peds and cyclists. Only they put the bikes on the half that has ALL the trash cans, lamp posts, and benches. Grr. The bell has an effect on less than half of folks out there. I wind up saying "BIKE LANE, PLEASE."

During the local festival held there, my son was given a promotional yardstick from a remodeler. He proceeded to hold in crosswise on top of the bucket on our Madsen. I was barking at him to hold it in the bucket, but when he managed to clip a teenager standing in a group that refused to give any way on the lane... well, I had mixed feelings.

I do slow down for folks, but it *really* sucks to do so in a Madsen with two kids+ picnic gear.
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Old 08-13-10, 10:30 PM   #3
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Children have a great way of being politically incorrect yet right


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the beach below our place has a divided pathway marked for peds and cyclists. Only they put the bikes on the half that has ALL the trash cans, lamp posts, and benches. Grr. The bell has an effect on less than half of folks out there. I wind up saying "BIKE LANE, PLEASE."

During the local festival held there, my son was given a promotional yardstick from a remodeler. He proceeded to hold in crosswise on top of the bucket on our Madsen. I was barking at him to hold it in the bucket, but when he managed to clip a teenager standing in a group that refused to give any way on the lane... well, I had mixed feelings.

I do slow down for folks, but it *really* sucks to do so in a Madsen with two kids+ picnic gear.
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Old 08-13-10, 11:48 PM   #4
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too true, my daughter is 3 1/2, and frequently says stuff like "dad, why won't those rude people get out of our way?" :-)
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Old 08-14-10, 01:55 AM   #5
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It was only once I got a trailer I gave in a got a bell, had some strange stigma about having a bell on MY bike. Now I use it all the time, even when I'm not hauling the trailer. Recently I also got an AirZound, works nice. Havn't gotten frustrated enough with peds ignoring my bell to wake them up, but it'll happen

Since I live outside Vancouver it wasnt a nessicity to have a bell. But I go into the downtown area more now and it's required by law to have a bell. Like helmets barely enforced unless it's June and bike month
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Old 08-14-10, 04:15 AM   #6
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Sure I use a Bell; it's cheap enough to replace when I bend it over some braindead twit who won't get out of the way.

You were talking about frame pumps, right?
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Old 08-14-10, 12:54 PM   #7
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i usually just fly by them and scare the crap out of them. they never hear you until your right behind then and that is if they are not listening to music with there mp3 player. i have considered mounting my 6volt horn on my bike but it only works about 50% of the time and it is big and heavy and i could see someone stealing it.
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Old 08-14-10, 01:23 PM   #8
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"Whistles" are illegal on bikes in CT. By "whistle," apparently they mean AirZounds and such.

It's best to be nice folks. I thought my post would be the meanest on this thread, but it sounds like aggression is the norm. This isn't cool. Anyone who cares enough to get out of our way when we ring a bell deserves some common courtesy and respect for their safety.

Anyone who might deserve any rudeness is not going to modify their behavior for us, and just might get pissed off enough to take it out on another cyclist. In a car.
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Old 08-14-10, 01:36 PM   #9
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All my bikes have bells... when that fails I yell.

Since I usually stick to the road I don't have to worry about the peds and pod people and get really annoyed when other cyclists pass me without giving any signal that they are there... I am not used to having people pass me that often as I tick along at 30kmh which isn't fast but is enough to keep me ahead of most folks.
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Old 08-14-10, 01:42 PM   #10
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River Walk, the MUP here, includes a few planked in trestles , some , the only place to ride is between the rails..

so a bell or just coming slowly up behind people, and saying a friendly 'Hello',
gets them to be aware you are there and they step aside long enough to pass.
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Old 08-14-10, 02:13 PM   #11
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Most folks respond to bells -- some are in a place where they're out to prove something, and they don't.

That's what the AirZound is for.
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Old 08-17-10, 05:25 AM   #12
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We sometimes have them issues, I made a bike with a horn just for this one occasion, theres alot of jerks here sometimes. I could also be one. I mounted a big rig horn onto a old bicycle with an aircylender. it was a choice Idea for those hard to get through places. the one thing that I wonder is why people walk the wrong way on bike paths or take up the whole path when walking and don;t move, in result, they missjudged me lol

With this being said, normal bells work, but sometimes something slightly over kill is always fun for jackasses.
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Old 08-22-10, 01:33 PM   #13
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ching ching! "On your left."

Works every time. People around here seem to have their hearing intact.
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Old 08-22-10, 02:09 PM   #14
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ching ching! "On your left."

Works every time. People around here seem to have their hearing intact.
Ipods must not have made it to your neck of the woods yet.

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Old 08-23-10, 08:35 PM   #15
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I use a bell all the time when I'm on the bike path. Most people hear it if not I say on you left or right!
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Old 08-23-10, 09:45 PM   #16
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Yes I use a bell. Most people do hear it and respond. If not I say 'Passing on your left.' I also have a loud horn but I mostly use that for obnoxious vehicles.

Hilarious about the yardstick poking the teenager who wouldn't move!
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Old 08-24-10, 09:31 PM   #17
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I've been thinking about getting one... but I ride with a battery for my 12V LED light setup, so I could get a 130dB car horn, which would work better than an airzound...
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Old 08-24-10, 09:52 PM   #18
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My favourite bell set up... the left dummy lever operates the bell.

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Old 08-25-10, 05:29 AM   #19
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You're demanding right of way and enforcing traffic rules on a sidewalk?? You guys sound like bullies. Mellow out. Use the road if you got somewhere to go. Folks can spread their picnic blanket across the mup for all I care. I do ride mups regularly, but I never ask anyone to get out of my way. It's not "my way". I have no right of way there. I've seen bikers yelling at people for standing on the path. It makes us all look bad when you vent like that.
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Old 08-25-10, 08:17 AM   #20
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I use airzound, a bell and a horn all on different bikes. If I am on my commuter and someone is trying to cut me off, they get a good blast but that rarely happens. When I am riding on on the MUP and someone is riding in the wrong direction or walking in the "bike lane" I shout "On your left" to catch their attention. Since most don't know what that means, I simply wave my arm to direct them on the right side then tell them that they should be on the right. Thank you's are exchanged and we go about our business.
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Old 08-29-10, 05:33 PM   #21
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I have to say that I hardly ever hear a bell or a greeting of any kind before someone passes me on the Burke-Gilman or the Sammamish River Trail. I use my bell since back in the 90's when I was running on these paths I got tired of being buzzed by bikers without any regard for my comfort or safety - even though I was as far over to the right of the path as I could get. When you get buzzed by someone within inches of you, it can be kind of scary. There's no need for it. I think of lot of people don't bother letting others know that they are passing since they feel they are ignored. Do it anyway. It's the right thing to do
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Old 08-29-10, 09:34 PM   #22
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i am always amazed that bikers (and rollerbladers) buzz by people like that. i always look at every other person on the path, whether they are walking or rolling, as a potential accident. to me, the dumbest thing to do is pass closely by someone who doesn't know you are there. i don't even know how many times i have had people make a sudden change of direction at the last second that could have easily resulted in a collision.

my original question was mostly about trying to figure out if i am doing something wrong, or if it really is that common of a thing for people not to pay attention.

yesterday, i took my daughter to the woodland park zoo using mostly MUP to get there and back, and after that long trip i am leaning toward the latter. ran into several wedding parties and in 2 of them there was one individual genuinely paying no attention to what was going on around them. and by that, i mean they were standing in the middle of the path and not only not hearing the calls to make a hole, but not hearing every other member of their party yelling at them to get out of the way. the first one was talking on her cellphone and eventually someone who was with her grabbed it out of her hand to get her attention. too much champagne maybe.

anyway, i know i'm not going to change the world, but i just wish people would pay attention. they don't need to act as though the path belongs to someone else or anything like that, just know what is going on around you. sounds silly, but a bike even going as slow as walking pace colliding with you could hurt you really badly. technically its fine for peds to walk on the shoulder of the road, if you were doing so would you think it was ok to be ignorant of the traffic around you?
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Old 08-30-10, 04:10 AM   #23
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You're demanding right of way and enforcing traffic rules on a sidewalk?? You guys sound like bullies. Mellow out. Use the road if you got somewhere to go. Folks can spread their picnic blanket across the mup for all I care. I do ride mups regularly, but I never ask anyone to get out of my way. It's not "my way". I have no right of way there. I've seen bikers yelling at people for standing on the path. It makes us all look bad when you vent like that.
MUP Multi-Use-Path, that includes bicycles. The only time I use them is when I have to. Mainly to circumvent high speed road ways that do not take cycling into consideration. If the clowns that walk 3 and 4 abreast on the path would read the rules they would know that there will be bicycles on the path way too, and to expect them. FWIW I slow down considerably prior to passing walkers.

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Old 08-30-10, 10:14 AM   #24
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Xargaun,
To my way of thinking you are doing everything right. You could get a bell from REI that Trailbear (in a different post) called the bell of Clarebell. He noted that for $4 it got everyone's attention. Anyway... you don't want to let those who aren't paying attention ruin your outing. Just keep on ringing!

You guys ever remember seeing a gentleman riding on the path who would wave to everyone and I mean EVERYONE? Maybe it's not something you or I would do, but God bless him, it did bring a smile to your face. Haven't seen him in quite awhile, perhaps he moved on. I miss that wave.
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Old 08-30-10, 04:21 PM   #25
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MUP Multi-Use-Path, that includes bicycles. The only time I use them is when I have to. Mainly to circumvent high speed road ways that do not take cycling into consideration. If the clowns that walk 3 and 4 abreast on the path would read the rules they would know that there will be bicycles on the path way too, and to expect them. FWIW I slow down considerably prior to passing walkers.

Aaron

I think you're agreeing with me. Thanks! I didn't know there were rules to using a mup. I don't think there should be rules. People out there enjoying the fresh air and such should not be restricted in their movements. Let these paths be a place for people to be free, space out, relax! Aggressive riders with computers on their bikes and an obsession to improve their average speed should go elsewhere. They ruin the mup for everyone!

I saw a lady today ring her bell at a pedestrian in a crosswalk who was moving directly into her intended path. She had a red light, and the walker had a walk signal. Come on people.
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