Old 10-29-21, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Cramic View Post
Might be more a vent, but as Iím fairly new to cycling Iíd appreciate hearing memberís thoughts on bell ringing to let people know youíre passing. I ring it on a case-by-case basis (if thereís a large speed differential, if I know weíre approaching a section where people often cross lanes, kids, etc.) but had a fairly unpleasant experience today.

Was on a shared bike/pedestrian path and there was a couple ahead. More leisure cyclists, both appeared to be in their fifties, and cycling single file with about 5m between them. Path doing a few twists when I came up on her rear and I free wheeled and coasted behind for about ten seconds. She heard my pawls/freehub (pretty loud on my bike) and looked back so knew I was there and that I would be passing. As we came around the last corner the path was clear for 100m ahead so I moved far right and passed her. As I did she called to her partner ďbike passingĒ and I passed him shortly afterwards. He shouted after me, ďknow that bell on your bike? ******g use itĒ.

Totally unnecessary (in my opinion) and I returned to remonstrate, explaining that his partner knew I was there, had called to him, we were only doing about 10kmh and I passed a good 2m on his right. I actually felt Iíd been more than polite, giving her space and waiting until I could be absolutely certain it was safe to pass.

Iím passed frequently by other cyclists on bike paths, at 30kmh plus, and rarely, if ever, does anybody ring their bell. I do if Iíve noticed a cyclist not keeping religiously left, but usually donít if thereís good space to pass.

And conversely I passed a female cyclist on a bike path commute and knew we were coming to a section cyclists often cross both lanes to drop onto the road so rang my bell, once, as I was passing only for her to shout something after me (I donít know what, to be honest, but she didnít sound happy). I often find it an irritation when every bike rings their bell at me when, as a pedestrian, I always keep left.

Damned if you do, damned if you donít.

I imagine most people will ring on a case by case basis, and will be grown up enough to know that weíre not all going to agree on when that is so wonít hurl abuse after fellow cyclists, but just wondered if there is a consensus/etiquette. If the community thinks I should have rang my bell, even in that specific example, then Iíll have to ring literally when I pass everybody.

p.s. Iím in Australia, so we cycle/drive on the left.
I did a century last weekend, and at one point hopped into a small group that was significantly faster that many/most of the riders stretch out along the route. One of the group had a bell that he pinged as we were passing cyclists on the road. None of this pinging was directed toward me, but I still found it quite irritating. Maybe because I heard it repeatedly, maybe once wouldn't have been quite so annoying. I was quite surprised, as this was the first "hardcore roadie" I'd ever encountered with a bell in their bike. I avoid MUPs like the plague, presumably bells are more common there? The few times I find myself marooned on an MUP, when passing, I slow up and speak, as loud as I can without shouting, some variation of "I'm going to pass on your left, Folks" - seems to do the job without any drama.
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