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To the Bell Nazi of Chandler Boulevard

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To the Bell Nazi of Chandler Boulevard

Old 06-02-08, 10:58 AM
  #1  
Paul L.
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To the Bell Nazi of Chandler Boulevard

Ordinarily, in the past I have been of the mindset of people just jump in your way when you ding or yell when you are passing, but lately I have been playing the good boy and calling out the side I will be passing on. So this morning I am taking the 2 mile cutoff along the canal path. There are usually less than 4 or 5 people on this stretch so I view it as an acceptable part of my commute. 3 out of the 4 people I called out to this morning heard me with the exception of a guy with a bike trailer who I did successfully pass but due to his reaction I think I may have made him stain his shorts. First I was riding my recumbent this morning for the first time in a year and seeing my feet as the first thing in his peripheral vision might have freaked him out a bit. Second I don't think he heard me for some reason. Anyway, after I passed he sprinted to catch up to me and told me a bell or horn would be a good addition to my setup in a rather frumpish way. I informed him that he had been the exception in not having heard me this morning and he got more snooty saying something about it not being his fault if I ended up in the canal sometime.
Personally, I have found the horn I was born with far superior to bells as I can indicate which direction I will be passing on. A bell merely suggests my presence and then I have to wait while you react to it and decide which of your other lefts you are going to pull over on. Anyway, I have never seen a bell used this side of the Mississippi. Perhaps I don't ride on MUPs enough but my voice has always been sufficient and it also has the added benefit of being able to slide a parting thank you to folks as I sidle past them. Anyway, I am probably being a snooty roadie here but I found myself wanting to tell the guy to get a set of training wheels as I left. If he hadn't of sprinted to catch me and then start off the way he did (A polite, " Oh you yelled? I must not have heard, sorry my mistake" would have been better in my mind). If I see him again and he brings it up I am going to get an Air Zounds and let him have it I think. But then again perhaps that is just a revenge fantasy. If there were more people using the MUP I wouldn't even consider it as an option. I guess I just don't belong there, still the guy's approach was really stupid. Funny how a simple thing can ruin the rest of an otherwise beautiful commute.
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Old 06-02-08, 11:06 AM
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You did what you were supposed to do. If the Dude's got an attitude it's his issue.

Let it go.
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Old 06-02-08, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul L. View Post
I informed him that he had been the exception in not having heard me this morning and he got more snooty saying something about it not being his fault if I ended up in the canal sometime.
To which I think the proper reply is, "Are you threatening me?"

Originally Posted by Paul L. View Post
Anyway, I am probably being a snooty roadie here but I found myself wanting to tell the guy to get a set of training wheels as I left. If he hadn't of sprinted to catch me and then start off the way he did (A polite, " Oh you yelled? I must not have heard, sorry my mistake" would have been better in my mind). If I see him again and he brings it up I am going to get an Air Zounds and let him have it I think. But then again perhaps that is just a revenge fantasy. If there were more people using the MUP I wouldn't even consider it as an option. I guess I just don't belong there, still the guy's approach was really stupid. Funny how a simple thing can ruin the rest of an otherwise beautiful commute.
If you let it ruin it, yeah. Shake it off. There are always going to be people who give you boneheaded advice from a position of ignorance.
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Old 06-02-08, 11:26 AM
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There's a similar guy on the Sammamish River Trail who grumbles "a warning would be nice" to everyone who passes him without the use of a bell/horn/call-out. He's said it to me every time I pass him without announcing myself because there are no other people on the MUP, and I swing WAAAAAY over to the opposite berm of the path when I pass him.
I just shrug it off. If someone wants to grumble about everyone that rides within 4' of them, then so be it.
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Old 06-02-08, 11:42 AM
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Tell him to get a mirror. It's his job to be aware of his surroundings, not yours. A bell or shout is polite, however not required by law AFAIK.
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Old 06-02-08, 11:44 AM
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Personally, I like calling out when I'm passing, but there are times when I also appreciate having a bell. Occasionally when people don't hear (or pay attention to) my voice, they'll still hear the bell. Of course, some are oblivious no matter what you use - the iPod-equipped joggers, of course, but sometimes other people as well. Still, the "belt and suspenders" approach of using both my voice and a bell works well for me in most cases.
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Old 06-02-08, 11:55 AM
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Don't let it bother you that much. In my opinion, an incident like that isn't enough to ruin a whole commute. I find that incidents like that keep the commute challenging and add some excitement to journey!
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Old 06-02-08, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul L. View Post
...Anyway, after I passed he sprinted to catch up to me and told me a bell or horn would be a good addition to my setup in a rather frumpish way. I informed him that he had been the exception in not having heard me this morning and he got more snooty saying something about it not being his fault if I ended up in the canal sometime....
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Old 06-02-08, 12:41 PM
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Not your problem if he's half deaf. I totally agree on the Airzounds - if you see him again, let him have it.
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Old 06-02-08, 12:42 PM
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that guy was a jerk.
I have a bell but rarely use it as it confuses most people. I don't call out for the same reason. I just slow down and pass quietly.
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Old 06-02-08, 12:46 PM
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Do what you want. The guy's being a bit anal.

That said, I love my bell. You don't need to think right or left at all--they need to react to you and they do. Too often, in my biking era pre bell, people would go the opposite way I asked.
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Old 06-02-08, 01:15 PM
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I'm gonna get a bell made for pet collars. The pavement is bumpy enough that I'll never have to worry about being silent.
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Old 06-02-08, 01:25 PM
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Japan may not be perfect, but they certainly seem to have their population well-trained in reacting to the bike bell: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtv2_-2mHck&NR=1
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Old 06-02-08, 01:38 PM
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I had a bell for about a week.
No one heard it due to headphones.

I think you should do the airhorn. That will REALLY scare the pants off him.
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Old 06-02-08, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
There's a similar guy on the Sammamish River Trail who grumbles "a warning would be nice" to everyone who passes him without the use of a bell/horn/call-out. He's said it to me every time I pass him without announcing myself because there are no other people on the MUP, and I swing WAAAAAY over to the opposite berm of the path when I pass him.
I just shrug it off. If someone wants to grumble about everyone that rides within 4' of them, then so be it.
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Old 06-02-08, 01:50 PM
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Silly stuff. It wasn't me.

But why the Chandler Blvd. BN? Wasn't this on a canal path?

BarracksSi - About a year ago there was a cyclist I passed nearly every morning who had a chain of bells hanging from her bike that made quite a racket, which was probably a help as she was always on the sidewalk. She also used a rear facing headlight.

Al
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Old 06-02-08, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
I'm gonna get a bell made for pet collars. The pavement is bumpy enough that I'll never have to worry about being silent.

I have a bar-end bell that works pretty well, but it will ding every time I go over a bump...so, if I'm following another cyclist, I sometimes have to pull alongside to tell them - I'm not trying to pass, it's just noisy. It sounds like they're being chased by a really fast ice cream truck.

When I'm on my commuter, the bell works great in 99% of the cases, and the extra 1% would panic or do something weird anyway. Same thing goes when calling out...but I usually call out "Coming up.....On your LEFT." That extra 1/2 second of vocal cue gets their attention a bit earlier, which usually makes all the difference.
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Old 06-02-08, 02:22 PM
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I've posted elsewhere that I'll say, "OOOOOOOOONN your left!" to give them time to comprehend that I'm saying "on" instead of "move to".

I've also taken to saying, "You're good, you're good," trying to encourage them to keep doing what they're doing and not start swerving around. I still slow down enough for them to hear, but they seem to grasp it pretty well.

I was kidding (mostly) about the pet collar bell.
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Old 06-02-08, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Highcyclist View Post
Japan may not be perfect, but they certainly seem to have their population well-trained in reacting to the bike bell: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtv2_-2mHck&NR=1
Note to self: If I'm ever in Japan, apparently I should pass on the right.

When I was on the MUP this weekend, I was a little behind another guy who was being good and doing the "Passing on your left!" thing. There were two guys who clearly only get out to ride maybe two or three times a year slowly puttering along side-by-side talking to themselves. Guy in front of me says "Passing on your left" to them. A few seconds later as I'm passing them I hear one of the guys say to his friend in a pissy voice "Oh, I didn't realize I was competing." But something tells me this guy would've made a snide comment if he was passed without any sort of warning, too.
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Old 06-02-08, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by JustBrowsing View Post
Note to self: If I'm ever in Japan, apparently I should pass on the right.
They drive on the left, so, yeah.
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Old 06-02-08, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
Silly stuff. It wasn't me.

But why the Chandler Blvd. BN? Wasn't this on a canal path?

BarracksSi - About a year ago there was a cyclist I passed nearly every morning who had a chain of bells hanging from her bike that made quite a racket, which was probably a help as she was always on the sidewalk. She also used a rear facing headlight.

Al
Well, It was near Chandler Boulevard and Chandler Blvd Bell Nazi rolled off the tongue better than Canal path bell nazi. I guess I was being to dramatic come to think about it..
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Old 06-02-08, 03:29 PM
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You just found a 1 in 7. If you have a gathering of 7 people at least one of them will be a jerk.
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Old 06-02-08, 03:47 PM
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Since the weather's nicer there's a small walking group of suburban moms on a particular section of path every day. First time I came up behind them I dinged my bell, the lady on the right moved, but the lady on the left did not. There was room, and I assumed she had heard me and felt what she gave me sufficient so I passed.

She nearly jumped out of her skin, shrieked and said, in a very sarcastic voice, "On your left?"

The other gal told her I had dinged my bell...

Anyways, now every morning I encounter them, and I ding my bell like usual, and this particular lady jumps very melodramatically, RUNNING to the side of the path, and as I pass gives me a big, "THANK YOU!" It's ridiculous, and I almost want to ask her if she uses aderol or ritalin...

I like the bell, it's symbolic of a bike, and not as abrasive as a voice. PEople are so used to gruff voices demanding "On your left" that even if you're nice about it, with a petite voice, they're prepared to be defensive and mad. And, they always MOVE left instead of allowing me ON their left.

The bell is pleasant.
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Old 06-02-08, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by climbhoser View Post
And, they always MOVE left instead of allowing me ON their left.
That's because they only hear .."mmonnnbrrmb LEFT".

People do what they hear, so if they only hear "left", they think they have to go "left".

Or, they think they're being courteous by moving out of your way, rather than letting you move around them.

The phrase "on your left" came from trying to be courteous ourselves, too. It's basically, "I'm coming this way" instead of something like "move over" or "stay right", which is more like a command -- and people don't usually take kindly to being commanded by strangers.
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Old 06-02-08, 04:03 PM
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I just say 'Hello' loudly when I am quite far back. Then I wait for response. I don't pass until it is clear the person being passed knows I am there and has by their movement made it clear which side they expect me to pass. Then I say thank you as I pass. Has worked fine so far.
Alternately I just pass with no notice if there is lots of room even if person being passed starts to swerve.
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