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When to ring your bell (Warning: vent alert)

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

When to ring your bell (Warning: vent alert)

Old 11-02-21, 01:19 PM
  #101  
Calsun
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The best approach is to shout "on your left" to people ahead. Then they move to the right and let me get past. Ringing a bell is fine for some kid on a tricycle but not something I would use on a bike path or roadway. In Australia one can shout "on your right" for the same effect.
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Old 11-02-21, 01:40 PM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by Calsun View Post
The best approach is to shout "on your left" to people ahead. Then they move to the right and let me get past. Ringing a bell is fine for some kid on a tricycle but not something I would use on a bike path or roadway. In Australia one can shout "on your right" for the same effect.

LOL

Yeah right!

Too many people don't know what is left or right. I just play my e-horn until they either move right or look back to see where I am.
Shouting "passing on your left" I save for the XC ski trails and even there one better be ready to bail because ......there are people who overestimate their readiness e.g. snow plowing all they way down the hill and wiping out at the bottom .... just before a tight curve.
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Old 11-02-21, 02:55 PM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by OldRailfan View Post
LOL

Yeah right!

Too many people don't know what is left or right. I just play my e-horn until they either move right or look back to see where I am.
Shouting "passing on your left" I save for the XC ski trails and even there one better be ready to bail because ......there are people who overestimate their readiness e.g. snow plowing all they way down the hill and wiping out at the bottom .... just before a tight curve.
+1 on that. I used to yell left or right, but one day I said TO YOUR LEFT to someone and he was taken by surprise and ended up going left (where I was) instead of going right. We almost hit each other.

I prefer by far my loud free hub
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Old 11-02-21, 03:05 PM
  #104  
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Good thread. LOL.
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Old 11-02-21, 03:57 PM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by eduskator View Post
I prefer by far my loud free hub
My freehub is not loud enough. One time I ended up pedaling along at walking pace right behind a couple who were (1) walking just far enough apart that the two of them effectively preclude safe passing anywhere across the entire width of the MUP, and (2) engrossed in their conversation. After following them undetected for about 20 seconds I had heard enough to say "good afternoon" and join in the conversation.
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Old 11-02-21, 10:31 PM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by Branko D View Post
​​​​​​Yes, I am. Road rules are a well thought out system for keeping everyone pretty safe despite routinely travelling at speeds where mistakes can easily mean serious injury or death. Drivers, provided they are not changing lanes or direction, are primarily tasked with monitoring what is in front of them - hence it is legal to use vehicles without mirrors on the public roads.

Applying ordinary road logic, it's simply your responsibility not to crash into pedastrians, cyclists and so on in front of you. Places where leisure cyclists, pedastrians and pets mix simply aren't suited for going fast at all.

​​​​​At the end of the day, I much prefer the predictability, speed and safety of riding on the road.
Please let me know where you're located and what you drive so I can avoid you. You're position is dangerous and against all standards set by experts (don't bother asking who; Google it). You claim..."hence it is legal to use vehicles without mirrors on the public roads". Where??? Everywhere I have lived, a car can't pass inspection without three functioning mirrors.

I know you'll respond, but I'm done. You can have the last word (I know this would drag on until you do) because some people simply can't be reasoned with and debate is futile regardless of facts and research (again; Google it).

Good luck and be well.
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Old 11-03-21, 12:34 AM
  #107  
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Originally Posted by MAK View Post
."hence it is legal to use vehicles without mirrors on the public roads". Where??? Everywhere I have lived, a car can't pass inspection without three functioning mirrors.
Vehicles.

A car isn't the only road legal vehicle, a fact you'd think would be pretty non-controversial on a road cycling forum.
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Old 11-03-21, 05:56 AM
  #108  
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Originally Posted by OldRailfan View Post
Too many people don't know what is left or right.
That is quite possible.

Every summer, we hire college kids for two or three month internships; most don't understand the relationship between north, south, east and west and can't find a jobsite without detailed turn-by-turn directions from their phone. I never thought to ask if they know left from right but the answer probably shouldn't surprise me.
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Old 11-03-21, 09:13 AM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Get a Kids Horn. ON Left.
That bike needs a Turbospoke!
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Old 11-03-21, 05:38 PM
  #110  
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https://ilovebicycling.com/bicycling-etiquette-101/
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Old 11-04-21, 07:01 AM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by eduskator View Post
+1 on that. I used to yell left or right, but one day I said TO YOUR LEFT to someone and he was taken by surprise and ended up going left (where I was) instead of going right. We almost hit each other.

I prefer by far my loud free hub
Yep ... I've had too many people move to the left - into my path - when I announce "passing on your left". I'll repeat my earlier posts: I prefer a verbal alert like "bike passing" or "bike behind you". Additionally, we have a growing trend around here that the person being passed raising their left hand in a wave to acknowledge the announcement, and the passing rider returns the wave after passing or just say "thanks".

Also, loud free hub ... how about fatbike tires at 18 mph on a paved trail, that ALWAYS gets people to see what behind them - True story: I caught and passed a bike friend on a paved bike route, she was commuting and I was riding hard for a meet up at the local single-track trails. She posted up to Strava that there is no need to announce a pass with those tires ... And better still is studded fat tires on bare pavement, people look like they will dive into the snowbank when they here the Dillingers rolling up.
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Old 11-04-21, 09:38 AM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
OK, I am willing to give a bell a try. Which bell is loudest and/or clearest? This one?

Spurcycle Original Bike Bell - Raw | REI Co-op

Cosmetic blems for a discount:

https://www.spurcycle.com/collection...eid=7dae43b438
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Old 11-04-21, 10:20 AM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
I saw that too, thanks!
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Old 11-04-21, 12:29 PM
  #114  
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Too much of a bell ringing is annoying.

I've found that if you ring a bell with kids, they're far less predictable than just giving them room and going stealth. I've learned to roll with the crowd and not expect everyone to move out of my way.

Like others have said, you won't win with everyone so do what you think works for your situation.
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Old 11-05-21, 02:08 PM
  #115  
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I ride on MUPs ALOT. They are very convenient for me and I can get a decent 30 or 40 mile ride after work without leaving the city or riding big roads. That being said using bells or verbal signaling is just about worthless these days. For every person that hears you there are 10 with ear buds in who hear nothing. I simply ride defensively and look out for pedestrians and very carefully watch little kids walking and on bikes.

This is obviously more important in the more congested portions of the trail. I dinged my bell when slowly passing a small kid about 5 or 6 years old who was riding while his Dad jogged. He promptly wiped out when I did. I felt pretty bad and immediately turned around. He was dusting himself off and starting to cry but managed to hold it together. i told him how tough he was and his dad was cool about the whole thing.

My pet peeves are the many examples of lack of courtesy. Big groups of walkers spanning the trail. Bikers side by side that weave around. ...too many to list really.
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Old 11-08-21, 12:16 PM
  #116  
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I'm guessing a "MUP" is a "Multiple Use Path", a path that the law allows for both pedestrians and cyclists to share.

I use these types of paths a lot and have been both a pedestrian and cyclist while using them.

I treat passing on these types of paths as the same as I would when passing somebody while on a downhill ski hill. The person below you (while skiing) and in front of you (while biking) has the RIGHT OF WAY. It is up to the person doing the passing to do so safely. When skiing, I can give a wide berth and if I don't, I am at fault if anything happens. When riding, it is up to me to ensure the person I'm about to pass can hear me indicate my presence in plenty of time to react and give me a good berth. If they don't, I either need to go off trail and give them a WIDE berth, or I need to slow down and stay behind them until they hear me and can move out of the way to allow me to pass.

When I run on these trails, I typically have music playing in my ears. I've had a few instances where inconsiderate bike riders blow by me with little or no warning. That is a good way to get somebody hurt and in my view, it is the person doing the passing who has the control and would be at fault if anything were to happen. The person doing the passing should also ensure the person being passed has sufficient warning. Passing without warning (bell, shout, whatever works) is not a good idea in my view.
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Old 11-08-21, 12:42 PM
  #117  
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i do not have any MUP's where i live so my options are to either ride indoors or ride on the roads. how do you guys feel about cars honking the horn at you before they pass? i would rather them not do it, it scares the crap out of me. i can hear them coming so i don't need them to do it and i would rather them just go around me. i have only been riding about 4 years now and on e of the biggest things i have learned is you have to have patience when riding on the road.
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Old 11-08-21, 12:54 PM
  #118  
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Originally Posted by ckelly_22 View Post
how do you guys feel about cars honking the horn at you before they pass? i would rather them not do it, it scares the crap out of me. i can hear them coming so i don't need them to do it and i would rather them just go around me.
Your post shows that you treat the road as a shared space and that you take responsibility for maintaining situational awareness, whereas so many people on MUPs treat the section they are on as their personal cocoon in which they do not need to maintain any situational awareness, and that safety is solely the responsibility of those passing them (whether from behind or from an oncoming direction).

I ride mostly on the road during the day in a largely suburban environment, so on average several cars would pass me per minute. If every car honks before passing me, there would be too much honking.
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Old 11-08-21, 12:56 PM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by ColoFatherOf3 View Post
I'm guessing a "MUP" is a "Multiple Use Path", a path that the law allows for both pedestrians and cyclists to share.

I use these types of paths a lot and have been both a pedestrian and cyclist while using them.

I treat passing on these types of paths as the same as I would when passing somebody while on a downhill ski hill. The person below you (while skiing) and in front of you (while biking) has the RIGHT OF WAY. It is up to the person doing the passing to do so safely. When skiing, I can give a wide berth and if I don't, I am at fault if anything happens. When riding, it is up to me to ensure the person I'm about to pass can hear me indicate my presence in plenty of time to react and give me a good berth. If they don't, I either need to go off trail and give them a WIDE berth, or I need to slow down and stay behind them until they hear me and can move out of the way to allow me to pass.

When I run on these trails, I typically have music playing in my ears. I've had a few instances where inconsiderate bike riders blow by me with little or no warning. That is a good way to get somebody hurt and in my view, it is the person doing the passing who has the control and would be at fault if anything were to happen. The person doing the passing should also ensure the person being passed has sufficient warning. Passing without warning (bell, shout, whatever works) is not a good idea in my view.
This is a good system if ALL parties maintain reasonable situational awareness. Safety requires the engagement of ALL parties.
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Old 11-08-21, 01:22 PM
  #120  
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
Agreed! I've changed to "bike passing" or "bike behind you".
I generally say "passing on your left" in as cheery a voice as possible (often with an "excuse me" tacked onto the front). And I've slowed down enough to get all that out and for them to hear it/respond (so I can get an idea of which way they're going to jump). Only do the ring the bell if they don't acknowledge that because it comes off as a lot more agressive of a command than a friendly statement (at least from me as I'm a rather large dude). But all that requires me to be close enough for them to hear, but slow enough that they have time to respond, so I'm super slow. Which is one of the reasons, I dislike riding on MUPs. Finally get back up to speed again and I have to slow down to do it all over again.
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Old 11-08-21, 01:25 PM
  #121  
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Originally Posted by ckelly_22 View Post
i do not have any MUP's where i live so my options are to either ride indoors or ride on the roads. how do you guys feel about cars honking the horn at you before they pass? i would rather them not do it, it scares the crap out of me. i can hear them coming so i don't need them to do it and i would rather them just go around me. i have only been riding about 4 years now and on e of the biggest things i have learned is you have to have patience when riding on the road.
IMHO a car honking and ringing a bell are not comparable ... car horns are designed to be heard by a person in the closed cabin of a vehicle and at a significate distance; a bike bell (or verbal alert) is much quieter and easier to modulate based on the conditions. So I'm saying, don't honk your horn to simply pass a person on a bike.
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Old 11-08-21, 03:29 PM
  #122  
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Originally Posted by ckelly_22 View Post
i do not have any MUP's where i live so my options are to either ride indoors or ride on the roads. how do you guys feel about cars honking the horn at you before they pass? i would rather them not do it, it scares the crap out of me. i can hear them coming so i don't need them to do it and i would rather them just go around me. i have only been riding about 4 years now and on e of the biggest things i have learned is you have to have patience when riding on the road.
If someone on a car is approaching from behind and they do a short tap of the horn to let me know they are coming, I don't mind. Especially if I'm descending and the wind noise prevents me from knowing a car is there. When some jerkface waits until he is next to me and lays on the horn that is a very different experience.
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Old 11-10-21, 02:02 PM
  #123  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
**** that "say 'on your left'" guy. There's a small, but non-zero part of the population that, when startled, will hear "..mumble mumble.. left!" and will think that they're supposed to move left... right in to you.

The run-in that I really enjoyed was when I announced a pass on M'haha Pkwy. I said, not yelled, but said "passing," and I passed. Upon doing so, this dude started grousing, "what is it with you guys?! 'Passing! Passing!' I know you're ******g passing! You don't have to yell it all the time!" It was so weird that I had to slow down and have a "wtf?" talk with him.
I also live in Minnesota too where under statute you're required to make an audible signal when passing (IIRC) . I've completely given up on any audible warning for a couple of reasons: the first is that about 30% of the population jumps the wrong way when you say "on your left" and it's completely unpredictable. That has disastrous consequences for both me and them. The second reason is that about 50% of the on trail population seems to have noise cancelling earbuds in and can't hear a thing. They finally hear when you're shouting and then they get pissed off that you're yelling despite missing *all* the other warnings.

So now what I do is come up behind them and slow to a walking pace. They finally figure out I'm there and about half the time jump out of their skin but they recognize that it's up to them to move over (and, hopefully, retract their dog leash). It's the only safe thing I can figure out. If I have to do that more than twice in about 5 minutes, then I just ride on the road which is probably a lot safer for both me and the pedestrians.

It's an impossible situation, it really is.

J.
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Old 11-10-21, 02:38 PM
  #124  
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Originally Posted by Andy Somnifac View Post
Agreed. I don't think I've ever had an issue with "On your left" being interpreted as anything other than "I am passing you on your left side."
My wife is dyslexic and can't readily quickly identify left or right. If riding, she has made it a habit to automatically say "passing on your left" and then trained to go to the left side as a matter of habit rather than thought. If she is walking, or being passed by a faster rider, she has learned to not react and move to one side or the other, but does always stay to the far right of the path so the only option for passers is on her left.
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Old 11-10-21, 02:53 PM
  #125  
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
...

So now what I do is come up behind them and slow to a walking pace. They finally figure out I'm there and about half the time jump out of their skin but they recognize that it's up to them to move over ...

J.
This seems like the safest method. A voice alert may help if your bike is silent, but wait to pass until they respond. Yeah, it may slow your average speed for the trip, but a pedestrian path is no place for speed contests. And yeah, it takes more effort to accelerate back up to speed, but if you don't want to burn calories then get an eBike.
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