Pedestrians' view of bells ?

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oneten
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Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby oneten » 21 Jul 2015, 6:18pm

I would be interested to find out how pedestrians, dog walkers etc on shared paths respond to hearing a bicycle bell being courteously rung by an approaching cyclist. Do you find they are generally OK and cooperative? :D Do they often thank you for warning them in advance? :) Are they ever abusive over 'being rang at'? :(
Prompted by an unfortunate incident with two elderly pedestrians reported on in our local paper recently http://www.kentonline.co.uk/whitstable/ ... ists-39119, :shock: I want to put together a short article in our local cycling magazine about shared use paths and some kind of unofficial stats as to pedestrian responses to cyclist warnings is something that could be included. :idea:

Note: while there is no excuse for the behaviour of the so called 'cyclists' mentioned, the newspaper version showed the youngest pensioner with quite a number of different dogs on leads ( possibly a dog-walker for other people) which may have been across the path.The section of path in question narrows and a sign states that cyclists should slow and be prepared to dismount if necessary.However, it is an official regional cycle route but such incidents are damaging to cyclists, as can be seen by responses in the comments following the article. Not sure how local constabulary would feel about detecting the cyclist's tyre tread marks in the method suggested by the poster of the first comment though! :? :lol:

MikeF
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby MikeF » 21 Jul 2015, 6:42pm

Just about all pedestrians on a shared off road route near me welcome a bell. Bells are very audible and I find I can usually give at least 10 seconds warning. This doesn't normally startle users and gives them (and me) time to react. Some people maybe deaf of course and wind can affect audibilty.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

oneten
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby oneten » 21 Jul 2015, 6:55pm

Thanks Mike. Yes, sufficient advanced warning is important I agree, which avoids making people jump. :)

andrewk
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby andrewk » 21 Jul 2015, 6:56pm

I have found pedestrians to generally respond well to a bell. NB Pedestrians NOT dog walkers incapable of controlling their dogs and incapable of accepting that their pooches can be a nuisance and a menace. This tribe often doesn't respond to a bell or to anything else.

reohn2
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby reohn2 » 21 Jul 2015, 7:02pm

When I used have a bell on my bikes I've had both positive and negative reactions to my sounding it,the worst being quite aggressive toward me.
Without a bell I've never had as bad a reaction as that,but I've been asked why I haven't rung a bell,after stopping and having rational and friendly conversation about it,only one person has insisted that I should have one by law despite me informing them they're wrong,and that I find people more open and accepting of the human voice.
I usually say "ding,ding" followed by "can I squeeze past please" in a raised but bright & friendly voice,as i pass I make a point of thanking them.

The linked article seems to refer to two moron cyclists who need prosecuting for assault IMHO.
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jezer
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby jezer » 21 Jul 2015, 7:05pm

We often use a short section of dual use path on the way to our club rides. We usually find that repeated bell ringing has no effect on pedestrians, and we often resort to a loud calling of 'Hello, cyclist behind'. I hasten to add we always ride very slowly in that area. Even so, many walkers seem to be unaware that other people are entitled to use the path.
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mjr
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby mjr » 21 Jul 2015, 7:20pm

Pedestrians are generally OK and cooperative and it's getting better and better. They sometimes thank you for warning them in advance. They have been abusive over 'being rang at' when they didn't realise they were on a cycleway.

I think the least likely to react well are dog walkers and joggers listening to music, along with people from countries where bells mean "move else I'm going to crash into you".
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Heltor Chasca
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby Heltor Chasca » 21 Jul 2015, 7:26pm

I like my Lion Works bell. It has a long sustain in D . It is loud but mellow and less aggressive than the little pingers. I can also whistle loudly and will also bellow if my blood sugar is low.

I have had people thank me for informing them I'm about as I get the impression people don't like being buzzed. I understand that.

This Whitsable report MUST be an isolated incident that got silly. There's more to it, but quite frankly who cares? The 'cyclist' (what a label) lost his cool and should pay the consequences.

Some of the comments to the newspaper are shocking. There really are people out there who don't like cyclists. To 'wish' this cyclist goes under a lorry surely is illegal trolling in itself. So sad...b

MikeF
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby MikeF » 21 Jul 2015, 7:28pm

reohn2 wrote:I usually say "ding,ding" followed by "can I squeeze past please" in a raised but bright & friendly voice,as i pass I make a point of thanking them.
Wouldn't work at all on the paths I use.

I agree the cyclists should be prosecuted. It's road rage and last week a 79 year old was killed near Worthing in a rage incident.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

oneten
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby oneten » 21 Jul 2015, 7:31pm

reohn2 wrote:When I used have a bell on my bikes I've had both positive and negative reactions to my sounding it,the worst being quite aggressive toward me.
Without a bell I've never had as bad a reaction as that,but I've been asked why I haven't rung a bell,after stopping and having rational and friendly conversation about it,only one person has insisted that I should have one by law despite me informing them they're wrong,and that I find people more open and accepting of the human voice.
I usually say "ding,ding" followed by "can I squeeze past please" in a raised but bright & friendly voice,as i pass I make a point of thanking them.

The linked article seems to refer to two moron cyclists who need prosecuting for assault IMHO.


Yes indeed reohn they do indeed deserve to be prosecuted. I just hope that the people who read the article might take the reasonable view that such an incident is rare and that among every road user, be they pedestrian, cyclist or motorist, there will always be some bad apples, The full article explained that after a comment was made by one of the pedestrians that they should slow down, the riders turned back and began to remonstrate with them and things escalated.

Bicycler
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby Bicycler » 21 Jul 2015, 7:41pm

After experimenting, I have found that the small minority of people who take umbrage at either a bell or polite request are the kind of people who will take umbrage regardless of whether you use a bell or make a polite request :roll:

Nothing beats a nice sounding bell though :)

Ben@Forest
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby Ben@Forest » 21 Jul 2015, 7:47pm

I've posted this before so apologies if you've read it, but once, coming up behind a dog walker I rang the bell a number of times in a friendly fashion. The dog heard it, he didn't. I passed him slowly at which he demanded why I hadn't got a bell. I told I had and I'd rung it - he probably didn't believe me, I didn't stop to show him, but what can you do in such instances?

reohn2
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby reohn2 » 21 Jul 2015, 7:57pm

MikeF wrote:
reohn2 wrote:I usually say "ding,ding" followed by "can I squeeze past please" in a raised but bright & friendly voice,as i pass I make a point of thanking them.
Wouldn't work at all on the paths I use.

I can understand on very busy shared use paths a loud bell may be preferable,I rarely ride in such traffic.

I agree the cyclists should be prosecuted. It's road rage and last week a 79 year old was killed near Worthing in a rage inciden.

There are some pretty nasty pieces of work at large in society,and less and less police chasing them down
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Cunobelin
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby Cunobelin » 21 Jul 2015, 8:01pm

I have a Pashley Delibike with a big "Ice Cream Bell"

I need to beware of elderly ladies!

They all love the bell and most will stop you to regale you with delightful stories about early romances where their Beau would take them home in the basket of such a bike

My wife has no problem with this...

However she did have a problem when I was chatting to two very nice young ladies who wanted to try it out after their Gran had told them aboutthe experience

maxcherry
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby maxcherry » 21 Jul 2015, 8:43pm

Depends. If the chap is riding like he is collecting Strava points and ringing the bell so people,bikes and wildlife get out of there way, then i think they are a total numpty. If a person is cycling considerately then i don't mind. But some cyclist can be complete bells and think they have the right to cycle like they are being chased by the hounds of hell


I take the police report with a very large pinch of salt :wink:
Honestly chaps, I'm a female!