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New whistle

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Old 07-28-01, 09:37 PM
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LittleBigMan
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New whistle

I had lost my whistle, and the other day I shelled out for a new one at [unnamed discount store]. Set me back $3.00!

This one is much louder than my previous one! I am so happy now that I can express my displeasure with motorists who
want to sit in my lap, or who may not be looking as they are entering MY lane from a driveway or sidestreet.

It's one thing they don't expect: getting "whistle-blown." (It has saved me before. Visibility of cyclists is sometimes an issue with motorists, so I make sure they don't have an excuse.)
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Old 07-28-01, 11:18 PM
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Jon T.
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The whistle I want to get is one that will alert those people hiking on the path in front of me with walkmans blaring in their ears. Or just chatting oblivious to the oncoming cyclist (me).

It seems no matter what I do, it scares the crap out of everybody.

I've slowed down behind two women walking and chatting on the trails and said "Hi, excuse me." Startled them both.

I've ridden up behind a family walking with flashlights at night on the trail, decided this time to just click my brake levers a bit to get attention. Scared the hell out of all of them.

I've been on a fast downhill sidewalk and saw a person walking ahead of me with the dreaded walkman. Decided to just slow way down and pass her safely. Got a gasp of surprise/fright from her as I did so.

What should I do to announce my presence behind them without causing alarm? I think my tires are makin enough noise on the dirt an gravel to tip them off to my presence but it just isnt enough.

My idea, Im looking for one of those hunters duck call type simulator whistles. I think that might be an effective as well as humorous way to get attention without startling. Quack quack quack quack ="Hey look behind you, whatdya know, somebody else is actually on the same trail as you. Oh, an please don't freak, I mean you no harm."

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Old 07-29-01, 12:39 AM
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Originally posted by Jon T.
What should I do to announce my presence behind them without causing alarm?
It's an interesting problem, one that I've run into too (in the city, not on the trail), and I don't know the answer.

Once I was cycling up a bridge and shifted gears to favor the slope, and a young man walking on the pedestrian sidewalk of the bridge turned around white-faced and said, "That sounded just like a gun being cocked!"

"Sorry," I said. In fact, that is what it sounds like....
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Old 07-29-01, 01:07 AM
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I want to get a whistle. Currently, I just yell.

As for passing walkers and runners, that's a tough one. As one who runs on trails, I've been startled by cyclists who were merely announcing their presence. It seems to happen when wind noise makes it hard to hear the tire and gear noise before they are right on top of me.

As the one startled, I just accept it. It's not the cyclist's fault that I can't hear them any sooner. They are announcing their presence.

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Old 07-29-01, 05:15 AM
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Originally posted by Jon T.
The whistle I want to get is one that will alert those people hiking on the path in front of me with walkmans blaring in their ears. Or just chatting oblivious to the oncoming cyclist (me).
I solve the problem by simply not using those offroad paths. I have ridden six-lane highways with no shoulder in rush-hour traffic and still felt safer than I do on those paths.

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Old 07-29-01, 09:31 AM
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Jon T.
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Originally posted by Chris L


I solve the problem by simply not using those offroad paths. I have ridden six-lane highways with no shoulder in rush-hour traffic and still felt safer than I do on those paths.

Chris
Then you apparently haven't ridden in Flagstaff yet. Small town with BIG town crazy drivers. I try to avoid the so called "bike lane" now. After being missed by just a few inches by passing trucks and traffic in general. I'm all for "urban trails" and bike lanes that are seperated from traffic.
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Old 07-29-01, 09:35 AM
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I haven't ridden in Flagstaff but find it hard to believe that rush hour there is any worse than in Kansas City, and I ride with safety in rush-hour traffic here. True, there are lots of bad drivers, but I assert my rightful place, taking the whole lane when necessary (which isn't too often), and everything goes OK; a little nerve-wracking sometimes but better than being segregated into a second- or third-class existence on some path.

Bike paths have only one goal: to eventually get rid of cyclists altogether.
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Old 07-29-01, 03:03 PM
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Chris L
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Originally posted by Jon T.

Then you apparently haven't ridden in Flagstaff yet. Small town with BIG town crazy drivers. I try to avoid the so called "bike lane" now. After being missed by just a few inches by passing trucks and traffic in general. I'm all for "urban trails" and bike lanes that are seperated from traffic.
And you apparently haven't seen the paths they build around here yet. Strewn with broken glass, thick-skulled pedestrians, annoying little corners that take hours to negotiate, and the fact that eventually you have to use the road anyway because none of them actually go anywhere.

I have actually ridden on those "urban trails" (once) and it was the scariest thing I have ever done. Getting back on the road after that was like getting in touch with a long lost friend (even though I was only on the path for about five minutes).

However, the thing that really annoys me about these things is the point made by Jon R. I can see a time when traffic planners and governments, trying to get votes from lard-butts in SAVs (suburban assault vehicles) will ban bikes from the roads altogether, claiming "we have built a path, you should use it". I say plough them underground now and give the land back to the farmers, it's time to ride on the road where you have a moral and (for the moment) legal right to be.

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Old 07-29-01, 04:47 PM
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Point well made. Maybe it's just me. Maybe I just need to get used to riding in traffic. It's just a scary proposition considering some of the hair raising car/bike near accidents that I've witnessed.

What I would like to see is the narrow bike lanes in the streets widened abit. Bikes should definitely have a place on the road and cyclists should no doubt receive the same respect as any driver. The problem with that is that alot of the drivers (here anyway) just dont want to see bikes at all.
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Old 07-29-01, 06:29 PM
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Originally posted by Jon T.
What I would like to see is the narrow bike lanes in the streets widened abit. Bikes should definitely have a place on the road and cyclists should no doubt receive the same respect as any driver. The problem with that is that alot of the drivers (here anyway) just dont want to see bikes at all.
That's right. The most sensible solution would be to build roads with a decent shoulder on them, which allows room for both cars and bikes. It would probably be more cost-effective than building the off-road paths that I see, and certainly more practical.

A lot of drivers are affected with anti-cyclist bigotry that I have mentioned in other posts, but I don't think traffic engineers should be bending over backwards just to please them.

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Old 08-01-01, 08:25 AM
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Originally posted by Chris L


That's right. The most sensible solution would be to build roads with a decent shoulder on them, which allows room for both cars and bikes. It would probably be more cost-effective than building the off-road paths that I see, and certainly more practical.

A lot of drivers are affected with anti-cyclist bigotry that I have mentioned in other posts, but I don't think traffic engineers should be bending over backwards just to please them.

Chris
In affluent countries with plenty of wide open space, like Australia and the U.S., we've grown so accustomed to driving everywhere. Cyclists, then, simply become a hindrance to the normal way of getting to all the important places people have to be.

The dominance of this viewpoint not only affects drivers, but also contributes to the ignorance of those who do cycle. Because of this, we have children and adults riding on the wrong side, riding on the sidewalk where it is illegal to do so, cutting across busy roadways at strange and unpredictable angles.

For everyone involved, I believe that TV and radio spots (PSAs) aimed at bicycle safety and share the road initiatives would help immensely. It would, at least, help the less violent and apathetic, who are merely ignorant and not inherently adversarial, to understand where bikes are supposed to be on the road and that the road is intended for them as well as autos.

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Old 08-01-01, 09:44 AM
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I lived in Germany for several years and never had a need for a car. The public transportation system there is so well organized and effecient and many more people get around on bikes. Many older people too. I have yet to see(or very very rarely see) someone in there 60's or 70's getting on a bike to go to the store or to go downtown to shop here in America. In Germany it is quite common.

Also the Polizei run a bicycle training program for children to teach them how to ride a bike in traffic. They teach the kids what roadsigns mean, right of way, hand signals etc. Have I seen this in America yet? Nope.

We'll get there though, I think, eventually. Once pollution from fossil fuels forces us to consider alternative modes of transportation. But not before. The bicycle will have it's day here in America when the air stops being breathable.
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Old 08-01-01, 12:16 PM
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Originally posted by Jon T.
I lived in Germany for several years and never had a need for a car. The public transportation system there is so well organized and effecient and many more people get around on bikes. Many older people too. I have yet to see(or very very rarely see) someone in there 60's or 70's getting on a bike to go to the store or to go downtown to shop here in America. In Germany it is quite common.

Also the Polizei run a bicycle training program for children to teach them how to ride a bike in traffic. They teach the kids what roadsigns mean, right of way, hand signals etc. Have I seen this in America yet? Nope.

We'll get there though, I think, eventually. Once pollution from fossil fuels forces us to consider alternative modes of transportation. But not before. The bicycle will have it's day here in America when the air stops being breathable.

Amen, Brother!

And two more words...

Two dollars

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Old 08-01-01, 12:20 PM
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Then again, some areas have already reached that briefly.

Maybe I should have said...

Three Dollars

It doesn't merge fuel price points with Better Off Dead, though.



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Old 08-01-01, 01:30 PM
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Originally posted by Jon T.
Also the Polizei run a bicycle training program for children to teach them how to ride a bike in traffic. They teach the kids what roadsigns mean, right of way, hand signals etc. Have I seen this in America yet? Nope.
It was funny reading this because the police did exactly that when I was in 6th grade. Of course that was about 35 years ago and in a small town (25k). In fact the whole idea of EC is how I learned to ride. So basically things that I grew up with are now a dream in the minds of serious cyclists. :confused:

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Old 08-01-01, 04:56 PM
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Originally posted by Jon T.
I lived in Germany for several years and never had a need for a car. The public transportation system there is so well organized and effecient and many more people get around on bikes. Many older people too. I have yet to see(or very very rarely see) someone in there 60's or 70's getting on a bike to go to the store or to go downtown to shop here in America. In Germany it is quite common.
In my particular part of the world there is not exactly a great need for a car either (I seem to do OK without one), but people are just plain lazy. They drive distances that would take less time to walk. What we need is a major oil supply crisis that forces the price up to about $5/litre. That would fix it.

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Old 08-01-01, 06:34 PM
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Hey, Jon, don't worry, I scare the crap out of people when I ride next to them, too. Dunno, I just thought it was the fact I had no make up on... Never thought I was startling them. That clears things up!


I remember when I was in elementary school, the local police went out into the schools and taught bicycle safety. Now, they don't. I'm quite sad and a bit annoyed about this, because now parents don't allow their kids to ride their bikes to school. Okay, not to blame them too much, it seems times are a bit scarier now, I guess.

I'm still teaching my son how to ride (he's 12) properly. Follow the rules of biking, and being extra cautious. I think he's startin' to understand since he told me today while we were riding to his lessons that, "Those cars just don't see us, do they?" I just worry, when he's NOT riding with me. I guess I can't protect him all the time, I suppose.
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Old 08-01-01, 07:34 PM
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Originally posted by Chris L


What we need is a major oil supply crisis that forces the price up to about $5/litre. That would fix it.

If there's one thing I hope to see in my lifetime, that's it. $10 would be even better.
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Old 08-01-01, 09:47 PM
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Originally posted by technogirl
I'm still teaching my son how to ride (he's 12) properly. Follow the rules of biking, and being extra cautious. I think he's startin' to understand since he told me today while we were riding to his lessons that, "Those cars just don't see us, do they?" I just worry, when he's NOT riding with me. I guess I can't protect him all the time, I suppose.
You are my hero.

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Old 08-01-01, 11:49 PM
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Children often see things with great clarity--even things that escape adult notice.
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Old 08-02-01, 05:00 PM
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Back to the subject of whistles. For some reason, they are not to be used by cyclists in some states, for example, Iowa. I assume because they might be thought to be police whistles, and so are not allowed just like sirens aren't allowed on cars. Be sure to check out the approved noises for bikes in your state. Personally, I like my Mack truck voiced air horn. Other cyclists have had a laugh when they see & hear my approach to the "no look" driveway exiters.
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Old 08-02-01, 06:11 PM
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I've actually never used a whistle before, does it really help that much? I've always figured that motoring primates would just ignore one or worse so I haven't bothered.

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Old 08-02-01, 06:53 PM
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Jean is right. Whistles are illegal sound devices in probably all states of the Union.

But, I live in the South.

Just kidding. But seriously, I've never had a policeman pay me the slightest attention. It's like one of those laws that forbid you to spit on the sidewalk, enacted in 1837. No one pays attention, and most don't care anyway. They probably think it's a smart idea!

Police are not always legalistic in their thinking. They have too much to do.

In fact, a whistle is the most effective sound device I can think of (besides an air horn ). It is designed specifically to penetrate the cushioned comfort of a glass and steel ensconced vehicle.

Seriously, no one cares, and it can save your life. Try it.

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Old 08-02-01, 10:40 PM
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A whistle does sound like a good idea. I was thinking about those horns (is that an air horn) that people would use during a football game just to make a rucus.

I was also thinking of putting a card on my spokes (like when we were kids--not that I had that, I've just seen it), so everyone could hear me ride behind them!

Or how about cell phone rings? I've noticed that at restaurants or meetings, when the cell phone rings, everyone scrambles to see if it's their cell phone ringing...
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Old 08-14-01, 05:01 AM
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In the first place, we shouldn't be on the same path/walkway/sidewalk as pedestrians. We belong on the road. On those rare emergency occassions when we are forced to use the sidewalk for a short distance, it is unlikely that we'll have a whistle around our neck. I find the secret to not scaring pedestrians is to give them plenty of notice. "On your left" in a non-threatening voice from a half a block away works good about 99% of the time.
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