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Bells or voice - give a guy/gal/child a break

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Bells or voice - give a guy/gal/child a break

Old 04-25-21, 05:51 PM
  #1  
SeniorCanadian
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Bells or voice - give a guy/gal/child a break

I was sorry to see the previous thread closed ostensibly, because of some vitriol.

I was about to respond to the thread both as a rider and as a pedestrian. Earlier this week I was walking on a MUP and was surprised how effective a bike bell can be and how I was surprised when a cyclist came by without warning.

I have a bell on both of my bikes and use them freely, sometimes combining with my voice "On your left" or "On your right" as the situation warrants. My personal experience definitely supported the practice. I often get a "thanks" in response.
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Old 04-25-21, 05:56 PM
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Any runners out there that run in the street? Do you prefer that each car that passes you honks?
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Old 04-25-21, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Any runners out there that run in the street? Do you prefer that each car that passes you honks?
Wait, what, you don't crank the window down as you come up on a cement truck & yell "Hey! ON YURRR LEFT!111!!" as you floor it going around while using the grassy shoulder?
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Old 04-25-21, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Any runners out there that run in the street? Do you prefer that each car that passes you honks?
No. In the street, you run facing traffic, so overtaking vehicles are on the opposite side of the road. Did you really not know that, or are you trying to be obtuse?

On the bike, I find that a bell is good for alerting other MUP users; it carries farther than voice, and is easily recognizable as 'bike'It's also non-confrontational; I'm not one of those 'serious' cyclists who feels it's necessary to tell at pedestrians.
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Old 04-25-21, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by SeniorCanadian View Post
I was sorry to see the previous thread closed ostensibly, because of some vitriol.

...
It's starting already.
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Old 04-25-21, 06:32 PM
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I will say that over the years I never really walked on a MUP. When I did I was a bit surprised at being bombed by cyclists out of nowhere. It did give me an appreciation that a warning is helpful as well as not ripping by at 20+ mph.

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Old 04-25-21, 06:40 PM
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Old 04-25-21, 06:41 PM
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The ring of a bell basically says "get the hell out of my way" to most people who don't expire from a coronary arrest when some sanctimonious zealot cycles up behind them to deploy their noise-maker.

If you want to go around someone on a MUP, it is up to you to give them clearance, not the other way around. If you think startling a bunch of pedestrians who are just strolling along and innocently discussing quantum measurement theory and Bell's Inequality, or the latest Instagram influencer's body odor is doing them a favor, you need to think about it some more, and pass them (if at all) more politely.



.

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Old 04-25-21, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
In the street, you run facing traffic
Not if there is a sidewalk.
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Old 04-25-21, 06:46 PM
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"I've got a fever, and the only cure is more cowbell, baby!"
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Old 04-25-21, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by seniorcanadian View Post
i was sorry to see the previous thread closed ostensibly, because of my trolling.

fify
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Old 04-25-21, 06:58 PM
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I have a MUP 2 miles from my house and know when to avoid it and when it's OK to ride.

The MUPs have a technical speed limit of 15mph. When it's nice out there can be a lot of walkers with kids and dogs. Sure i can bully my way through yelling "ON YOUR LEFT" all the time, but honestly it's not safe or fun.

Today was perfect, it stopped raining an hour before I headed out and it was on the cold side. I took the path and maybe passed a dozen others on a 7 mile stretch. On a nice Sunday afternoon i'd have to pass the same dozen in 100 yards. On those days I just take the streets.

Same with a MUP that runs down tot he beach for 5 miles and then heads east for 21 miles. Once you get past the first mile you can ride as you like, but that first mile can be crowded, so be prepared to go slow.

And many walkers and casual riders have music playing so a bell or calling out is a waste of time.

It doesn't matter who has the right of way or is at fault, if there's a collision you can get hurt.. so be responsible and careful.
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Old 04-25-21, 07:11 PM
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When I'm out walking, I find that the yell "on your left" requires me to think...
" What are they talking about". Um, er... something is coming up from behind me? Perhaps?
Then I have to think...
"Which side is my left side?" Takes me a while. Really.
Then I have to think...
"What am I supposed to do?" Um, er, keep walking in a straight line? turn around? stop?
By the time I've had all these thoughts, the cyclist has usually blown past me without slowing down, and usually pretty close.
Many (but not all) cyclists seem to think that by yelling "On your left" they have fulfilled all their responsibilities and can forget about everyones safety.
And some yell it when they are about five feet behind me while moving at 20 mph.
How about slowing down, giving everyone room, and maybe "Bike behind you"?
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Old 04-25-21, 07:23 PM
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I don't normally ride on MUPs but do use a 1 mile section to transition under a highway. Riding today, when I came across a family with 2 little kids I slowed down to walking speed and made my way around the kids. Ringing a bell in that situation would just be annoying to the family. A little farther along there were two women walking away from me on the right side. I took the far left side of the path with at least 6 ft between us. Again a bell would have been unnecessary and annoying.

I find it's better to just ride at an appropriate speed and not expect everyone to be jumping out of my way when ringing a bell.
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Old 04-25-21, 07:27 PM
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A bell is on each of my bikes. When on a trail if I can not see beyond a turn I ring the bell BEFORE THE TURN alerting anybody/dogs that I am approaching. Over the years this has resulted in people often commenting with "Thank You" along with a smile as we meet around the bend. On open areas I ring as I approach from the rear AND ALSO INFORM with "Passing on your left." This combination also can result with a "Thank You" or a simple "Wave Of The Hand" as the person moves over. What is strange is when I approach from the front and am seen by people walking towards me, there are times when one goes right and the other left instead of getting INLINE. Not only is that move not smart, it results in reducing the allowable distance of passage.


Ringing a bell EVEN LIGHTLY will often result in some form of recognition by a dog BEFORE THE PERSON because the dog's hearing is often better.


My bells are old Schwinn Approved Bells from the '70's.
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Old 04-25-21, 07:27 PM
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I find that the reaction to the bell depends on the bike I'm riding and the speed I'm riding. If I'm riding my upright bike with a front basket at or below 15mph, I ring my bell, smile, and do a little nod or wave. They usually pull off to the right, look at me, and smile/nod/wave back. When I'm on the road bike going 18mph+, I slow down to around 12-15mph and ring the bell a few seconds before passing, and do my smile/nod/wave, but if I'm in full kit, but they're less likely to smile/nod/wave back at me.

Probably just looks more intimidating to be in full cycling kit, where as I look much more approachable in my t-shirt and shorts when I'm riding the around-the-town bike.

I also make sure to ring my bell if I see dogs on the MUPs, and slow down much more than when I pass people. I also tend to wave to the dogs since I like dogs hahaha

I ride with a few people that think having a bell on my road bike is stupid, but I don't care, I use it often and I find it more friendly than yelling at people.
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Old 04-25-21, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
No. In the street, you run facing traffic, so overtaking vehicles are on the opposite side of the road. Did you really not know that, or are you trying to be obtuse?

On the bike, I find that a bell is good for alerting other MUP users; it carries farther than voice, and is easily recognizable as 'bike'It's also non-confrontational; I'm not one of those 'serious' cyclists who feels it's necessary to tell at pedestrians.

Or stop pedaling and let the noisy hub let everyone know you are there....
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Old 04-25-21, 07:31 PM
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I look for pretty much any reason I can to yell at people. It's kinda therapeutic. On top of that "GET OUT OF MY WAY" communicates so much more effectively than "ding ding."
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Old 04-25-21, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I look for pretty much any reason I can to yell at people. It's kinda therapeutic. On top of that "GET OUT OF MY WAY" communicates so much more effectively than "ding ding."
I prefer "GET OFF MY GRASS" at the neighbor's kids.
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Old 04-25-21, 07:47 PM
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My observations have been:

When living in NYC, vehicles and pedestrians (outside of touristy areas) expected and knew how to react to cyclists, because they're common. After moving back to the Philly suburbs, neither seem familiar with cyclists and don’t know what to do as a result. Although, cars do generally give me plenty of room, some also stay behind me when they could pass safely and easily. On MUPs I’ve gotten the same amount of benefit or lack of benefit from using a bell, saying “on your left” or “excuse me”, or passing silently. I’m not really sure what to do at this point. I try to be as polite as possible and smile. I mostly try to stay as far away from people as I can while passing. 🤷‍♂️
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Old 04-25-21, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
I prefer "GET OFF MY GRASS" at the neighbor's kids.
That's most assuredly an important part of my repertoire.
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Old 04-25-21, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I look for pretty much any reason I can to yell at people. It's kinda therapeutic. On top of that "GET OUT OF MY WAY" communicates so much more effectively than "ding ding."
I've got both sides covered. I shout "DING!! DING!! DING!! DING!!" at everyone. Bells AND voice.
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Old 04-25-21, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by SeniorCanadian View Post
I was sorry to see the previous thread closed ostensibly, because of some vitriol.

I was about to respond to the thread both as a rider and as a pedestrian. Earlier this week I was walking on a MUP and was surprised how effective a bike bell can be and how I was surprised when a cyclist came by without warning.

I have a bell on both of my bikes and use them freely, sometimes combining with my voice "On your left" or "On your right" as the situation warrants. My personal experience definitely supported the practice. I often get a "thanks" in response.
You lost me at SeniorCanadian...
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Old 04-25-21, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post
You lost me at SeniorCanadian...
You see there is this country north of the United States and in some parts technically west. It is called Canada. My assumption is that the person is an older person who lives in Canada. But not necessarily an older fan of the Canadiens, which the OP could also be. He may or may not be French Canadian; or should it be French Canadien. I’m not sure.

John
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Old 04-25-21, 09:11 PM
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Well that settles it. I’m changing out my loud hubs, speeding up and quietly getting as close to every single pedestrian I can when I’m interval training on the MUP.

I might yell “HONK” or “RENAR” but only if they’re old and slow.
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