Pedestrians' view of bells ?

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Valbrona
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby Valbrona » 21 Jul 2015, 9:59pm

Ding your bell behind the wrong type of person and get your head kicked-in.
I should coco.

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mjr
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby mjr » 21 Jul 2015, 10:20pm

Should I post a link to bicycle self defence again? :lol:
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RickH
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby RickH » 21 Jul 2015, 11:35pm

On the shared paths around Chester I've pretty much given up with the bell (& I don't recall hearing anyone else using one in the year or so I've been going over that way) as the usual scenario is -
Ring bell, no response.
Ring bell (from slightly closer range), no response.
Possibly ring bell once more with the same result.
Touch brakes as I get closer still to scrub off a bit of speed (although I was probably only doing 10-12mph when I started dinging &, unless I'm going uphill, will be freewheeling at this stage). Disc brakes squeal nicely :D & pedestrians immediately turn to see me approaching & usually move to one side.
I pass by slowly & give a cheery thank you.

Rick.

Grandad
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby Grandad » 21 Jul 2015, 11:55pm

Approaching both pedestrians and horse riders I slow down if necessary and say "coming past" quite loudly. Dog walkers usually shorten the lead as they move to the side and I've never had an adverse reaction yet

ferdinand
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby ferdinand » 22 Jul 2015, 8:49am

Around here (East Midlands market town) no problems whatsoever about using a ping bell to warn people from a few metres, or a shout.

Very occasional remarks if insufficient warning, or surprise if ped is hard of hearing or wearing headphones. But that is quite reasonable. On shared paths, going to fast to give sufficient warning means one is going too fast. Occasionally lots of dogs, but that is usually just people who like dogs.

Warning by voice doesn't make it any easier either because it takes as long to react to the content of a message or because a quick reaction is unpredictable.

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cotswolds
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby cotswolds » 22 Jul 2015, 10:29am

Bells are a complete waste of time (and handlebar space) where I cycle. I had one on my solo bike a long time ago and more recently on the tandem at my stoker's insistence. Nobody ever took any notice of them, I always ended up slowing down and using my voice. I reckon the effectiveness of bells depends on how many bell-using cyclists there are in an area. If they are heard reasonably often then peds get used to them and make the association, otherwise it just seems to be a random noise that doesn't penetrate.

I've never had a bad response to my voice warnings. What I say varies hugely with the situation. For a single adult walking purposefully leaving plenty of space I just call out 'bike coming past'; for two old people walking slowly down the middle of the path, I know I'm going to have to go down to walking speed and shout 'came I come past please' several times before I get there attention. Dog walkers tend to be the most difficult/random...

On the subject of dog walkers, some councils (e.g. Leeds, Manchester) have by-laws restricting the number of dogs one person can walk. If the local council has such a law, it's possible the dog walker was committing an offence. I'm not defending the cyclists' actions, which I think are appalling, but some dog walkers seem unaware of their responsibilities. I frequently cycle along a restricted byway which is much used by dog walkers, and the dogs are rarely on a lead, contrary to the highway code (56. Dogs. Do not let a dog out on the road on its own. Keep it on a short lead when walking on the pavement, road or path shared with cyclists or horse riders.)

I don't mind their dog roaming free if they are prepared to take responsibility if it causes an accident, but I suspect I'd get the blame.

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Audax67
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby Audax67 » 22 Jul 2015, 10:59am

No point in dinging with most of the joggers round here, they've usually got their earplugs in and are isolated from the world.

WRT the article: "heavy-set, short blond hair, blue top, navy shorts" sounds remarkably like a Strasbourg MTB peeler. Gives you quite a stir when you come up behind a cyclist wearing a gun.
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DaveGos
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby DaveGos » 22 Jul 2015, 11:02am

I just say bicycle in a friendly manner. Horse riders do not like bells and your voice is much more adaptable than a bell and yiu dont have to put it on lots of bikes and it does not take handle bar room and you dont have to take your hand off the bars to use it

reohn2
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby reohn2 » 22 Jul 2015, 11:06am

DaveGos wrote:I just say bicycle in a friendly manner. Horse riders do not like bells and your voice is much more adaptable than a bell and yiu dont have to put it on lots of bikes and it does not take handle bar room and you dont have to take your hand off the bars to use it


Summed up well IMHO :)
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mjr
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby mjr » 22 Jul 2015, 11:24am

DaveGos wrote:I just say bicycle in a friendly manner. Horse riders do not like bells and your voice is much more adaptable than a bell and yiu dont have to put it on lots of bikes and it does not take handle bar room and you dont have to take your hand off the bars to use it

My voice isn't consistent. Sometimes I wouldn't be heard and other times I'd be bellowing. So I feel the bell is better. Horse riders seem fine with it, as long as you don't get too close. If you have to take your hand off the bars to use it, then it's in the wrong place. My preference is for it to be by the left thumb when the left hand is in a reasonable position - it can't always be by the left thumb when the left hand is in its usual position on drop bars, which is another reason why drop bars are poor for transport riding ;)

cotswolds wrote:... I reckon the effectiveness of bells depends on how many bell-using cyclists there are in an area. If they are heard reasonably often then peds get used to them and make the association, otherwise it just seems to be a random noise that doesn't penetrate.

I suspect this to be true. It does create a problem, though: if people never start using bells because there aren't enough being used in an area, then there will never be enough used, so people will never start... And if cycling levels get high enough but there are few bells, then it'll surprise cycling tourists... so please, help touring cyclists, start ringing and keep going until it catches on! :lol:

I've never had a bad response to my voice warnings. What I say varies hugely with the situation. For a single adult walking purposefully leaving plenty of space I just call out 'bike coming past'; for two old people walking slowly down the middle of the path, I know I'm going to have to go down to walking speed and shout 'came I come past please' several times before I get there attention. Dog walkers tend to be the most difficult/random...

Like cotswolds, if I must speak, I favour "can I pass, please?" or something like that, but some pedestrians react really badly to be spoken to. Best one was "don't you have a bell?" which I happily answered with "yes and I rang it!".

On the subject of dog walkers, some councils (e.g. Leeds, Manchester) have by-laws restricting the number of dogs one person can walk. If the local council has such a law, it's possible the dog walker was committing an offence.

:roll: That seems about as likely to be enforced as the one about motorists stopping at red lights.

I don't mind their dog roaming free if they are prepared to take responsibility if it causes an accident, but I suspect I'd get the blame.

Well, yes. http://highwaycode.info/rule/214 tells you to be prepared to stop for animals...
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Elizabeth_S
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby Elizabeth_S » 22 Jul 2015, 11:39am

I guess how effective a bell is depends on the pitch. Older people tend to lose hearing from the top of the range, so if you have a high pitched ping they might not hear your bell, and they might not hear you if you talk if they have more hearing loss. Or a person of any age might have hearing loss and a hearing aid of some kind, which will be directional.
So it is not correct to assume that people are ignoring your bell or voice, they might not be able to hear it.

c0d3x42
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby c0d3x42 » 22 Jul 2015, 12:20pm

Ben@Forest wrote: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?


From what i understand, as you get older the ability to hear higher pitched sounds diminishes. Anecdotal evidence backs this up in my opinion, i've rung my pinger bell at 20-1m away and not been heard by the elderly. At which point i revert to an "hiya, can i get past please?"

Maybe there's a market for a lower pinging bell?

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mjr
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby mjr » 22 Jul 2015, 12:24pm

c0d3x42 wrote:Maybe there's a market for a lower pinging bell?

I'm a big fan of brring and ding-dong bells, which have more range than a ping-ping.
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Audax67
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby Audax67 » 22 Jul 2015, 1:06pm

c0d3x42 wrote:
Ben@Forest wrote: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?


From what i understand, as you get older the ability to hear higher pitched sounds diminishes. Anecdotal evidence backs this up in my opinion, i've rung my pinger bell at 20-1m away and not been heard by the elderly. At which point i revert to an "hiya, can i get past please?"

Maybe there's a market for a lower pinging bell?


You're not wrong there. At the age of 50 I was told by an otologist that I had the hearing of a 75-year-old. Specifically, there is a hole in my auditory spectrum centred on 3000 Hz, which is where much of human speech falls. It's the most common failure.

There are lots of online hearing tests available - interesting to try.

WRT bells, I'm in favour of them because the sound of a bicycle bell is a convention. People don't need to look round at the sound, observe and think "oops, better shift". They know it's a bike and will react accordingly.

What p's me off is when a group of people splits at the sound of the bell, half each side, thus taking up far more room than they would if they all moved the same way. You're never sure, either, that one of them won't decide at the last moment to nip across to the other side; followed, an instant later, by the dog.
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Flinders
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Re: Pedestrians' view of bells ?

Postby Flinders » 22 Jul 2015, 1:43pm

I always use the voice, asking politely 'excuse me' and coughing or whatever in advance so I don't give anyone a surprise. People occasionally ask why I don't use a bell, I explain that in my experience people regard it as aggressive.
None of this works with pedestrians with their backs to you and earphones in- and sometimes you can't see they have until you are very close, by which time I've practically had to stop.

And dog walkers vary from considerate (calling dog, having well behaved dog at heel, telling dog to sit), who I always thank, to dangerous (calling dog across my path at the last minute when it is happy and safe in the bushes, having those long leads across the path, having a dog completely out of control, etc.).