Using a whistle whilst cycling

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Brucey
Posts: 36483
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Using a whistle whilst cycling

Postby Brucey » 31 Dec 2012, 2:45pm

DaveP wrote: For pedestrians I prefer to bid them a cheery good morning from a convenient but non threatening distance. I dont have a problem with slowing down for the purpose, I just see it as my responsibility to set a civilised tone for the encounter. Thats in a towpath sort of setting. In town, I wouldnt waste my time ringing a bell to alert a pedestrian I'd go directly into accident avoidance mode.
Room for both really...
But I agree with you that a bell, as well as being audible also has the advantage of being identifiable. Ting! = bike somewhere.
A whistle, on the other hand, while very audible means exactly - anything or nothing. Really don't understand why some cyclists want to start using them


It rather depends on how many pedestrians there are likely to be. I regularly ride on a stretch of towpath where there are lots of people about. Most people don't need any warning when approaching from behind; they are aware of cyclists using the path. Others are distracted or have forgotten the possibility, and these need a tinkle from a bell. Speaking to them will generally do no good; they won't know it is a bike, someone else within earshot may respond (in an unpredictable fashion) and indeed the correct people may assume that someone else is being addressed and do nothing.

A bell is the thing that is most likely to be quickly and unequivocally identified by pedestrians as a cyclist. Until I started using such paths regularly , I didn't bother with having one, but I do now on my utility bike, and I miss it on my other bikes if I use such routes. I think it pays to have one that you can ring with varying vigour easily; a 'ping-ping' one is less good vs a 'dring- dring' one IME.

Obviously any bell (of presently available volume) is no good in busy traffic; maybe anything loud will do better here, so I can vaguely see the point of a whistle for riding in busy cities, even if you are likely to swallow the blessed thing or have it knock your teeth out in a prang.

cheers
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Anglian
Posts: 66
Joined: 10 Aug 2010, 1:22pm
Location: Cambridgeshire, UK

Re: Using a whistle whilst cycling

Postby Anglian » 4 Jan 2013, 5:45pm

pyruse wrote:I don't understand the opposition to bells. A high pitched ping travels further than a voice, and immediately identifies you as a bike.
A voice behind could be a pedestrian. When walking, (or cycling for that matter) I much prefer having a bell ping behind me than someone shouting 'on your right' or something. It's easier to identify direction with the bell.
It's not as if they are expensive; I have two pinger bells on my bike, one on each handlebar, so I can always reach one or the other. Normally I can reach both and give a pleasant ding,dong by pinging one then the other.
So bells - yes. Every cyclist should use them; I'm afraid I take a dim view of cyclists who insist on shouting instead.


Hooray! Another cyclist with a bell for each hand on the bars!

I agree with you -- the bell is clearly associated with being a bike, and is easy to operate on flat bars at least. A whistle just causes confusion. And I didn't understand the point of whistling all the time -- if one wants to make a noise all the time, then just fit a (truncated) cable tie to a seat stay, so that it flaps on each spoke as it passes.

Many cyclists seem to wait far too long before ringing their bells, getting very close to peds (surely one must be quite close in order to say "excuse me, could I just squeeze past?"?). A bell is a warning of presence, and it's a good technique to start using it some way back from the obstructing (or one whom you feel might step into your path through not having perceived you). That way it seems less aggressive than not using it until almost on top of another road user.

(Here's a fun trick to play after you're walking back from the bike shop with your new bell in your pocket, and in the middle of a crowd: secretly ring it once, and watch the peds look round, trying to see where the bike is approaching from!)

Warmest regards,
Anglian

hexhome
Posts: 1328
Joined: 1 Oct 2010, 10:33am
Location: Hexham, Northumberland

Re: Using a whistle whilst cycling

Postby hexhome » 10 Jan 2013, 9:33pm

Good example of where a whistle is useful on the daily commute - http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... J1N050sVo#!

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meic
Posts: 19355
Joined: 1 Feb 2007, 9:37pm
Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: Using a whistle whilst cycling

Postby meic » 10 Jan 2013, 9:46pm

Many cyclists seem to wait far too long before ringing their bells, getting very close to peds (surely one must be quite close in order to say "excuse me, could I just squeeze past?"?)


I am not in a race. I come up behind them, slow down to their speed, speak to them, they move aside and I accelerate away again. At the point when I speak to them, I am doing the same speed as them and not bearing down on them expecting them to leap out of my way. They can move over at their leisure.
Yma o Hyd

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[XAP]Bob
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Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Using a whistle whilst cycling

Postby [XAP]Bob » 11 Jan 2013, 9:38am

Anglian wrote:
(Here's a fun trick to play after you're walking back from the bike shop with your new bell in your pocket, and in the middle of a crowd: secretly ring it once, and watch the peds look round, trying to see where the bike is approaching from!)

Warmest regards,
Anglian


Only in Cambridge would they be looking for a bike.

Here they'd ignore it - I know, I've done it (on a bike even)

I always use my voice for pedestrians (until I'm stopped with them standing blocking the path and I can hear their music or they have a phone glued to their ear, in which case they'll get whatever I have to hand...)

I use a whistle on the road for car drivers, although the whistle I have is a bit weedy (only 99p, what did I expect?)
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

Brucey
Posts: 36483
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Using a whistle whilst cycling

Postby Brucey » 11 Jan 2013, 10:18am

anyone tried one of these?

Image
http://www.mirrycle.com/honka-hoota.php

BTW they also do a nice little bell that fits to many pre-2010 Shimano STis

Image

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~