Bells on bikes

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
reohn2
Posts: 36748
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Bells on bikes

Postby reohn2 » 25 Aug 2019, 7:06pm

Mick F wrote:Riding along a quiet lane. Not flying along, just riding nicely.
Two walkers in front going the same way as me.
I dinged my bell.
I dinged my bell.
I dinged my bell.
I dinged my bell.
I came up behind them and said, "Excuse me please".

They jumped out of their skin!
.......... and one of them said, "I wondered what that ringing noise was!"

That could be the ramblers's deliberate obtuseness,I have on occassion witnessed.

I tend ring the bell and the speak to any pedestrians I encounter,carefully looking for evidence of zombie earplugs and raising my voice accordingly.
-----------------------------------------------------------
I cycle therefore I am.

Mike Sales
Posts: 3541
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Bells on bikes

Postby Mike Sales » 25 Aug 2019, 7:06pm

mjr wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:
mjr wrote:They're probably reluctant to use bells because of all the criticism from CTC types who think bawling at walkers cryptic stuff like "Anya Wright" is more polite than a melodious ring. ;)


You make some extreme assumptions in pursuit of your hobby horse.
"Bawling" at people is not the only alternative to the tuneless jingle jangle of a bell.
Myself I prefer "excuse me" to "on your right" or even to the preremptory demand of a bell.

Preremptory isn't a word, is it? Anyway, a bell is neither preemptory nor peremptory, unlike an "excuse me".

No assumptions. Just experience. I would much prefer a bell from a suitable distance than someone sneaking up to within speaking distance or shouting from further away.

I am always prepared to trickle along at walking speed until the path is clear.

As am I. Path or road. Bells are a warning of passing, not a get-out-of-my-way.

I find this sort of consideration nearly always gets a civilised response, and if it doesn't, then so much the worse for the oaf.

Well, if you sneak up on me walking, my stick will bar your way. I guess that makes me an oaf in your eyes. Never mind - I'll live.


I think that if I met someone as determined to misunderstand and to take offence as you I would have to exercise all my powers of self restraint to stop myself "bawling" at you.
I trust though, that if you met me and my pedestrian tactics in person, you would find it impossible to get up on your high hobby horse. I do not think any reasonable person could take offence at how I behave in such circumstances, and I am doing my very best to continue to believe that you are a reasonable person, and that , if you met me face to face, you would not have any problems with my behaviour. Certainly, I have never had the slightest difficulty with any of the many pedestrians I have treated as I describe.
Your picking up on a typographical error makes me think that you are scratching around for grounds to quarrel. In the same way you like to use perjorative language like "bawling".
You do seem to have a thing about bells. Ah Well.
I will not join in your nitpicking and I say "toodle pip, adieu, but not au revoir." I hope.

Syd
Posts: 165
Joined: 23 Sep 2018, 2:27pm

Re: Bells on bikes

Postby Syd » 25 Aug 2019, 7:19pm

mjr wrote:.....Bells are a warning of passing, not a get-out-of-my-way.


Surely a bell is akin to a car horn? I.e be aware of my presence. Not be aware I am passing. That part should only be completed once you know the pedestrian is aware and it is safe to do so.

wearwell
Posts: 307
Joined: 3 Feb 2011, 8:45am

Re: Bells on bikes

Postby wearwell » 25 Aug 2019, 7:20pm

Spinners wrote:I have a pinger bell on my hybrid and it's surprising how many pedestrians react to it by patting down their pockets to find their mobile phone.
I use a pinger too. It works better if you ping 2 or 3 times - I think it helps identify the moving location of the source. A single ping could be from anywhere, a static object even. People often say thanks for ringing - they get p'd off with shouty no-bells!

Mike Sales
Posts: 3541
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Bells on bikes

Postby Mike Sales » 25 Aug 2019, 7:27pm

wearwell wrote:
Spinners wrote:I have a pinger bell on my hybrid and it's surprising how many pedestrians react to it by patting down their pockets to find their mobile phone.
I use a pinger too. It works better if you ping 2 or 3 times - I think it helps identify the moving location of the source. A single ping could be from anywhere, a static object even. People often say thanks for ringing - they get p'd off with shouty no-bells!



The alternative to a bell need not be a shout.

Carlton green
Posts: 328
Joined: 22 Jun 2019, 12:27pm

Re: Bells on bikes

Postby Carlton green » 25 Aug 2019, 7:44pm

Each of my bikes has a bell on it but I rarely use any of them or have need to. When I see pedestrians I slow down for them and regard them as having right of way, but whilst that’s appropriate for the paths and roads that I currently use other places might need an alternative way of engaging with pedestrians. A bell can be handy, but it’s just one way of making your presence known - IMHO it’s not a device to be rung in such a way as to demand road or pathway space.

I do find some sporty types think that it’s fine for them to push along shared use paths and that pedestrians should just get out of their way and let the rider make rapid progress regardless. To be honest I believe that get out of the way attitude to be a form of either ignorance (lack of education) or arrogance - usually there’s little you can do about either, but time eventually changes such individuals so why worry. :D

Mike Sales
Posts: 3541
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Bells on bikes

Postby Mike Sales » 25 Aug 2019, 7:55pm

Carlton green wrote:Each of my bikes has a bell on it but I rarely use any of them or have need to. When I see pedestrians I slow down for them and regard them as having right of way, but whilst that’s appropriate for the paths and roads that I currently use other places might need an alternative way of engaging with pedestrians. A bell can be handy, but it’s just one way of making your presence known - IMHO it’s not a device to be rung in such a way as to demand road or pathway space.

I do find some sporty types think that it’s fine for them to push along shared use paths and that pedestrians should just get out of their way and let the rider make rapid progress regardless. To be honest I believe that get out of the way attitude to be a form of either ignorance (lack of education) or arrogance - usually there’s little you can do about either, but time eventually changes such individuals so why worry. :D


You analyse the interactions well.
I take a similar attitude to peds.
I do not have a bell but occasionally I find that clicking the brake levers is useful.

flat tyre
Posts: 468
Joined: 18 Jul 2008, 1:01pm

Re: Bells on bikes

Postby flat tyre » 25 Aug 2019, 8:23pm

If I'm going fast on my road bike then I find that the noise from my tyres alone is quite enough to send pedestrians scampering off the track.

Mike Sales
Posts: 3541
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Bells on bikes

Postby Mike Sales » 25 Aug 2019, 8:30pm

flat tyre wrote:If I'm going fast on my road bike then I find that the noise from my tyres alone is quite enough to send pedestrians scampering off the track.


I wonder what they think of you? Not much is my guess.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 14178
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Bells on bikes

Postby mjr » 25 Aug 2019, 9:08pm

Mike Sales wrote:
wearwell wrote:
Spinners wrote:I have a pinger bell on my hybrid and it's surprising how many pedestrians react to it by patting down their pockets to find their mobile phone.
I use a pinger too. It works better if you ping 2 or 3 times - I think it helps identify the moving location of the source. A single ping could be from anywhere, a static object even. People often say thanks for ringing - they get p'd off with shouty no-bells!



The alternative to a bell need not be a shout.

It is unless you want to make people jump by starting speaking from surprisingly close!

And the reason I mentioned the typo is that the two alternative possibilities for what you meant have different meanings.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

Mike Sales
Posts: 3541
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Bells on bikes

Postby Mike Sales » 25 Aug 2019, 9:15pm

mjr wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:
wearwell wrote:I use a pinger too. It works better if you ping 2 or 3 times - I think it helps identify the moving location of the source. A single ping could be from anywhere, a static object even. People often say thanks for ringing - they get p'd off with shouty no-bells!



The alternative to a bell need not be a shout.

It is unless you want to make people jump by starting speaking from surprisingly close!

And the reason I mentioned the typo is that the two alternative possibilities for what you meant have different meanings.


I am not quite sure what you mean by your first sentence. I have no desire to make people jump. I find that the human voice is very easy to vary from a whisper to a shout. In tone and words the expression is equally variable. Bells are not so flexible. You do seem to try to put the worst construction on my words.
You showed clearly that you guessed I meant peremptory, and what I meant by it. What does preremptory mean?

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 14178
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Bells on bikes

Postby mjr » 25 Aug 2019, 9:30pm

It's not a word. Another typo?

If you whisper, you're not going to be heard over other traffic and people's conversations. If you merely speak, you'll need to be scarily close - someone thinks they're walking alone and suddenly a voice says "excuse me" - of course they jump.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

Mike Sales
Posts: 3541
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Bells on bikes

Postby Mike Sales » 25 Aug 2019, 9:42pm

mjr wrote:It's not a word. Another typo?

If you whisper, you're not going to be heard over other traffic and people's conversations. If you merely speak, you'll need to be scarily close - someone thinks they're walking alone and suddenly a voice says "excuse me" - of course they jump.


I know its not a word, and that is why you guessed what I meant to write. You make a lot of fuss over a slip.

You really want to prove that a bell is the only way. Why, I wonder.
A voice, as I said, can encompass all that a bell can, and a good deal more.

I find many cyclists are convinced that their's is the only true way to cycle, and need to tell other cyclists where they are going wrong. If you are keen on bells, then fine, but don't get so dogmatic about it.

I come across many helmeteers, but few bellists. I understand there is a sect which sees single panniers as heresy.

User avatar
rbrian
Posts: 839
Joined: 4 Mar 2009, 7:43pm
Location: Aberdeen

Re: Bells on bikes

Postby rbrian » 25 Aug 2019, 9:51pm

Syd wrote:
mjr wrote:.....Bells are a warning of passing, not a get-out-of-my-way.


Surely a bell is akin to a car horn? I.e be aware of my presence. Not be aware I am passing. That part should only be completed once you know the pedestrian is aware and it is safe to do so.


That's exactly my take on it. My route to work is half on the road, half on shared use paths and pavements, and through a park. The width varies from 1 to 4m, on the widest sections I ding, but don't slow down. On narrower sections, I ding, then wait patiently until they either stand aside, in which case I thank them, or the path gets wider.

I find my commute is smoother and less stressful if I pick and choose sensible rules from around the world, including presumed liability from mainland Europe, which holds the strongest vehicle responsible until proven innocent, so I respect people on foot, and the Idaho Stop, from America, which allows cyclists to treat red lights as amber.
Cynic? No, an optimist tempered by experience.

Mike Sales
Posts: 3541
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Bells on bikes

Postby Mike Sales » 25 Aug 2019, 9:57pm

mjr wrote:.....Bells are a warning of passing, not a get-out-of-my-way.


That is certainly what they should be. I think though that some people can take them to have the same meaning as they feel a car horn does all too often, which is "get out of my way." Perhaps they use a car horn in that way.
Some people resent bells I am afraid.
This is what I mean by peremptory. A voice can be so much more expressive. If you think it useful you can even say "ding dong".

Vuelta now.