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Old 04-12-19, 10:09 AM
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I would not derive much pleasure from frightening blissed out dog walkers with earbuds in on the MUP. I don't personally believe recumbent bicycles belong on MUP's! The 'stall speed' of the more interesting recumbent bikes is higher than the walking speed of most peds. IMO if you can't trail along behind a ped until you get a passing opportunity that does not force the ped off the path then you do not belong there. Bikes yield to peds, not the other way around. I haven't found that given a reasonable amount of time that most peds won't realize you are behind them. If they do not move over, they don't want to. So I make my own passing opportunity that does not require their active cooperation. So no horn is necessary then IMO. Certainly not some blood curdling high performance specimen like a Hornit or Airzound. Overkill. Period. Brings out the worst instincts for aggression in the susceptible. I've trained my wife out of the habit of 'pinging' peds when we occasionally get boxed in somewhere. The bell is on her bars on the tandems. Its used just for saying hi to kids and other kinds of friendly signalling. The only proper reaction to danger is an immediate defensive reduction in speed or other kind of evasive maneuver. If a horn saved the day it was coincidental. Sadly it can reinforce the feeling that it helped. So people think an even louder horn will work better next time. Manufacturers are happy to oblige. So people are now paying more for their horn than the department store bike its attached to. Doesn't make sense to me. I've owned three cars in my life and I have no idea what the horns of two of them sounded like. The third I only ever used to occasionally toot a neighbor I knew. I've crossed the country east/west and back three times. North//south numerous times. Hundreds of thousands of city and highway miles and never found a horn useful. It really is an ingrained cultural behavior all this horn use. We have been indoctrinated to think it is necessary. Horns are required by the DOT, and bells are required on bikes in many jurisdictions. Few people have any problem with this. They would be far more appalled at my take on it. But here I am, living proof that it really isn't necessary to use your horn several times a week, or even several times a day! It's just a very bad habit. A habit that can be broken. FWIW.
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