Using a whistle whilst cycling

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Vladimir
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Using a whistle whilst cycling

Postby Vladimir » 26 Dec 2012, 11:59pm

Does anyone here use a whistle whilst riding?

I'm considering using one, so just thought I'd get some opinions or tips.

The main reason I'm looking to use one is to find a gentler way* to wake rush hour pedestrians from their suicidal zombie road wanderings...

Which whistle do you use?

I see them on youtube for videos, and as common sense would dictate, you have to ride with the whistle in your mouth the whole time... Does anyone find this troublesome?

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*compared to the air zound

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jezer
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Re: Using a whistle whilst cycling

Postby jezer » 27 Dec 2012, 12:15am

I used to whistle when marshalling road races as the peloton approached. Not tried it on pedestrians while cycling. Many of them have earphones inserted, not sure they have any idea what is going on around them.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Using a whistle whilst cycling

Postby thirdcrank » 27 Dec 2012, 7:41am

First, a general point about doing something which might be seen as unconventional. The only time anybody's really bothered is if things go wrong and then you might have to explain what you were doing to others.

"Something going wrong" here would be colliding with a pedestrian. (If it worked and collisions were avoided, there'd be no problem.) The first question I'd be asking if I were investigating a collision would be why you chose to blow a whistle rather than take care to avoid collisions. My next would be whether you'd be better using both hands to apply the brakes in emergency, rather than using one to hold a whistle. (If you are doing a Bob Dylan, fair enough. If you have a coaster brake, I'd still think that both hands on the bars would help in an emergency.) Buying and carrying something suggests planning and premeditation so "responding to an emergency" wouldn't wash with me.

Beyond that, if I were being whistled on a regular basis by a passing cyclist (eg commuting) I might feel inclined to offer alternative suggestions for carrying it; there are others out there less diplomatic and patient than I am.

boris
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Re: Using a whistle whilst cycling

Postby boris » 27 Dec 2012, 11:18am

i have often worn a whistle but find them most use to signal to other cyclists in a group. Peds usually show no indication they heard it and drivers similar. I think a loud bring-bring bell and a polite shout( bike coming past on your right) is the best thing in town or trails. Whatever you do the pedestrians will leap about unpredictably and glower at you or ignore it completely.

rand
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Re: Using a whistle whilst cycling

Postby rand » 27 Dec 2012, 11:50am

Vladimir wrote:Does anyone here use a whistle whilst riding?

I'm considering using one, so just thought I'd get some opinions or tips.

The main reason I'm looking to use one is to find a gentler way* to wake rush hour pedestrians from their suicidal zombie road wanderings...

Which whistle do you use?

I see them on youtube for videos, and as common sense would dictate, you have to ride with the whistle in your mouth the whole time... Does anyone find this troublesome?

I have a mountain rescue whistle, tied round my neck with a piece of string and only put whistle in my mouth when I see pedestrians who look as if they need to be alerted to my presence.

No need to hold it in one hand. What could be easier?

rand

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*compared to the air zound

reohn2
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Re: Using a whistle whilst cycling

Postby reohn2 » 27 Dec 2012, 12:42pm

I've never felt the need for a whistle or an Air Zound,I used to have a bell fitted but prefere to use my voice with a polite "exuse me could I squeeze past please" or actually say "Ding Ding" if on a shared path.
If it's serious ie;pedestrian walking out in the road,I either shout "Oi!" followed by a "thankyou" when passing or simply or simply brake.
I recently had a woman(with her husband) mutter something about a bell as I was passing after I'd said "Ding Ding".I stopped and kindly explained that it was not the law for me to have bell and that I thought the human voice was far more agreable to the human ear,after a short discussion we parted on good terms :) .
On the same towpath I've seen cyclists fly past pedestrians at close quarters without warning and felt the need to stop and ask are they OK in an effort to show not all cyclists are not idiots.
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tatanab
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Re: Using a whistle whilst cycling

Postby tatanab » 27 Dec 2012, 12:50pm

reohn2 wrote:I recently had a woman(with her husband) mutter something about a bell as I was passing after I'd said "Ding Ding".I stopped and kindly explained that it was not the law for me to have bell and that I thought the human voice was far more agreable to the human ear,after a short discussion we parted on good terms.

I've done that a few times over the years, explained the legal requirements, and like you we've always parted amicably.

The point of using the voice is that you can inject as much venom as needed, or not, for each circumstance. It can also be deployed far quicker than any whistle, bell or horn. I am firmly in the thirdcrank school of thought.

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martin biggs
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Re: Using a whistle whilst cycling

Postby martin biggs » 27 Dec 2012, 1:51pm

this is a question i have had for a few weeks as so many people meander along cycle path with earphones in and dont hear my bell . was hoping to get one from a xmas cracker to try but no such luck so next time in town going to buy one and try it .

Vladimir
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Re: Using a whistle whilst cycling

Postby Vladimir » 27 Dec 2012, 2:05pm

thirdcrank wrote:First, a general point about doing something which might be seen as unconventional. The only time anybody's really bothered is if things go wrong and then you might have to explain what you were doing to others.

"Something going wrong" here would be colliding with a pedestrian. (If it worked and collisions were avoided, there'd be no problem.) The first question I'd be asking if I were investigating a collision would be why you chose to blow a whistle rather than take care to avoid collisions. My next would be whether you'd be better using both hands to apply the brakes in emergency, rather than using one to hold a whistle. (If you are doing a Bob Dylan, fair enough. If you have a coaster brake, I'd still think that both hands on the bars would help in an emergency.) Buying and carrying something suggests planning and premeditation so "responding to an emergency" wouldn't wash with me.

Beyond that, if I were being whistled on a regular basis by a passing cyclist (eg commuting) I might feel inclined to offer alternative suggestions for carrying it; there are others out there less diplomatic and patient than I am.


Well the whole point would be that one would keep the whistle in their mouth and whistle as necessary, with both hands free to brake with full power. Surely not the same can be claimed if anyone rings their bell at the same time as braking...

Or am I missing something?

Vladimir
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Re: Using a whistle whilst cycling

Postby Vladimir » 27 Dec 2012, 2:08pm

martin biggs wrote:this is a question i have had for a few weeks as so many people meander along cycle path with earphones in and dont hear my bell . was hoping to get one from a xmas cracker to try but no such luck so next time in town going to buy one and try it .


Apparently, not all whistles are created equal, and Acme make some very loud whistles, which I can only assume are the ones to go for...

reohn2
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Re: Using a whistle whilst cycling

Postby reohn2 » 27 Dec 2012, 2:33pm

Vladimir wrote:.......Or am I missing something?

If you insist on whistling,learn to whisle through you teeth,it can be very loud and piercing.
I avoid it personally.
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meic
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Re: Using a whistle whilst cycling

Postby meic » 27 Dec 2012, 2:34pm

Vladimir wrote:
thirdcrank wrote:First, a general point about doing something which might be seen as unconventional. The only time anybody's really bothered is if things go wrong and then you might have to explain what you were doing to others.

"Something going wrong" here would be colliding with a pedestrian. (If it worked and collisions were avoided, there'd be no problem.) The first question I'd be asking if I were investigating a collision would be why you chose to blow a whistle rather than take care to avoid collisions. My next would be whether you'd be better using both hands to apply the brakes in emergency, rather than using one to hold a whistle. (If you are doing a Bob Dylan, fair enough. If you have a coaster brake, I'd still think that both hands on the bars would help in an emergency.) Buying and carrying something suggests planning and premeditation so "responding to an emergency" wouldn't wash with me.

Beyond that, if I were being whistled on a regular basis by a passing cyclist (eg commuting) I might feel inclined to offer alternative suggestions for carrying it; there are others out there less diplomatic and patient than I am.


Well the whole point would be that one would keep the whistle in their mouth and whistle as necessary, with both hands free to brake with full power. Surely not the same can be claimed if anyone rings their bell at the same time as braking...

Or am I missing something?


I am fairly certain that if the whistle failed to prevent a crash, that I would be too pre-occupied to remember to spit it out.
Crashing with something between your teeth (other than a gum-shield) is on my list of things to avoid.
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yakdiver
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Re: Using a whistle whilst cycling

Postby yakdiver » 27 Dec 2012, 2:45pm

This morning a whistle may have been handy
on a narrow cycle path with jogger in front
me – can I come through please
no response
me – coming through
still no response
so I pulled up along side and scared the poo out of him as he was listening to his MP3 :twisted:
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Ayesha
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Re: Using a whistle whilst cycling

Postby Ayesha » 27 Dec 2012, 2:50pm

Unless you keep it in your gob all the time, which makes heavy breaths difficult, you are going to need to reach somewhere to grab it before you blow through it, which involves removing one hand from the bars, which is not a sensible thing to do when braking hard to avoid a pedestrian.
So, carrying a whistle on a length of cord is practically useless in sudden situations.

I find a sharp blast of "Oi!" from my mouth works fine.

thirdcrank
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Re: Using a whistle whilst cycling

Postby thirdcrank » 27 Dec 2012, 3:06pm

Vladimir wrote:... Well the whole point would be that one would keep the whistle in their mouth and whistle as necessary, with both hands free to brake with full power. Surely not the same can be claimed if anyone rings their bell at the same time as braking...

Or am I missing something?


If you can ride a bike with a whistle in your mouth, you are far better at breathing through your nose than I am. All I would say about bells is that they are conventional, so nobody is going to query why you have one, or your ability to ride a bike while using one. (I'm not a bell enthusiast myself - I go for the "keep a good lookout" approach combined with using my voice: a polite "excuse me" or similar on cycle track, a frantic scream in an emergency.)

The main thing you seem to have missed is my hint that doing something like this may be interpreted as betraying a rather militant approach. Bear in mind that I'm pro-cycling - others may be less understanding than I am.