open topic, for anything cycling related.
That's my experience too. I find that picking a sensible speed and leaving plenty of room works just fine. I find that bell-pinging adds nothing and sometimes causes erratic behaviour. I got to the point where I realised that I would have to account for erratic behaviour ping or no ping and had to assume that they hadn't heard my ping or, worse still, would react in some bizarre way. "What's the point?" I asked myself. I didn't have a good answer, so I just laid off the bell-pinging. So far, so good. And, bonus, I don't go insinuating that the responsibility to pass safely rests anywhere but with the overtaker (barring the universal don't-do-stupid-stuff obligation) which is misguided, wrong and offensive.
I think that you avoid giving offence by riding like that. Steady speed, careful passing. And wait, at walking pace if need be, for a pedestrian to sort themselves out if there really is nowhere to pass.
I know some cyclists are a bit impatient and just want to be on their way (a bit like many motorists in that sense) but I've never had a problem waiting and if I have to follow slowly for a few metres, no big deal.
I did once lose it a little with one cyclist. Footpath running through a nature strip alongside a road. The path is fractionally wider than a stroller, and there is only about 50 metres of it before it entered a wider paved area. Young woman pushing her kid along this path and a cyclist comes up behind. I'm just behind him, just riding home from work.
He starts hitting the bell. Quite clear he thinks she should get off the path so he can pass. I told him he gives way to her on a footpath, and he should **** wait until she finished going where she was going. He just went quiet. I think he knew.
One reason why I don't tend to call things when I'm on a group ride, unless there's something that really needs attention. I find that people calling out is more distracting than it is worth. I'm busy looking out for whatever pothole they called and end up riding over a carelessly dropped brick...
Better everyone just pays attention.
To the foolish young couple riding cruisers on the pavement eastbound on Horton Parade, Maroochydore.
You were wearing the helmets on your wrists and rode off the pavement onto Cornmeal Parade (M'dore Police and Magistrates Courts) towards KFC without a sideways glance. You crossed over the road to the other pavement at one of the busier traffic areas in this part of town, you are very lucky I saw you both and anticipated your negligence. I was the guy in the Bronze Honda who slowed as he approached the junction and stopped as you did as I predicted. Then you noticed me, I shook my head, no horn, no shouting, no other gestures. You are the guy who showed me the finger and shouted 'see you next Tuesday' (that's code), and you and your lady friend laughed and rode off. (NB: I stopped so clear that they didn't have to apply brakes or swerve.)
I know you probably don't visit this site, but thank you, thank you for setting back all of the work that good cyclists do to change the opinion of motorists. I hope you remain lucky with your blasé style of riding, I really do.
Two steps forward, three steps back......
Met a trio of dumb pedestrians today riding down Mountain Hwy from Sassafras to The Basin. I was roughly a 3rd of the way down, where there is a bend that is moderately sharp and turns about 135°. An advisory speed limit sign says "35km/h" which in my opinion is a reasonable top speed for that bend. I was probably doing about 30km/h, when about halfway around the bend, 3 pedestrians were crossing the road. They were carrying hiking sticks and had obviously been bushwalking in the area. Fortunately, one of us (myself) was paying attention, and I was in no danger of hitting any of them. One of the pedestrians had a go at me as I passed, and I was sorely tempted to stop and discuss with her why she was dumb enough to cross the road at that particular point, probably the worst spot in that whole section of road for a walker to cross.
What happened to common-sense, or do people really think that it's reasonable to cross a road at a particular point, just because a walking track happens to intersect it there, regardless of whether the road is actually safe to cross at that point? It's a similar mentality to that of motorists who, when catching up to another vehicle (motorised or otherwise), think that it's terribly important to overtake IMMEDIATELY, regardless of whether it's actually safe to do so. Just so we're even-handed here: I've also seen cyclists practising the "must-overtake/cross/turn-NOW" routine on roads or shared paths.
What's the rush, and is it worth putting your own or others' lives in danger?
"Assuming the worst" doesn't result in me taking a cavalier attitude to anything much. It results in me taking the same attitude that I'd like people to take when they come across my four-year-old on the path: I honestly try my best to 1. be safe and 2. be nice. It means I make allowances for the people I come across acting erratically. Among other things, I try to leave plenty of room when overtaking. If they don't act erratically, no big deal. Everybody just goes on their way. I have no interest in being in the right per se. Suffering no harm and doing no harm is rather higher on my agenda. Broken elbows hurt, no matter whose fault it is. Ask me how I know.
I want a good deal more than predictability. I want safe, courteous behaviour. Predictability goes out the window the moment that children or animals are involved, so making that an end in itself, rather than a means to an end, is an exercise in futility.
I've got news for you: the Road Rules require giving way to a pedestrian on a shared path. If they need to know you're overtaking, you're doing it wrong. If they need to move left, you're doing it wrong.
Kindly refrain from putting words into my mouth. I pointed out that the things you complained about - no bell-pinging and overtaking on the left - are not inherently bad things. You made no mention of these other issues so I could hardly have expressed an opinion on them.
You mentioned helmets in passing and riding to conditions not at all. This seems like a pretty inept attempt at ex post facto justification to me.
Just the idiot that has an issue with people passing on the PSP.
I'm heading north and keeping quite well to the left as I mostly try to do. A rider is heading south towards me at moderate speed. The PSP is straight and a good width.
The guy then moves across to closer to the centre. "Hmm, wonder why".
A moment later a rider completes a pass of me from behind at leisurely speed, gives me plenty of space (Many riders don't) and is therefore close to the centre. Actually on my side but his "personal space" would be cutting it a bit fine.
The timing is quite apparent - the tool coming to wards me wants to be difficult. Gives his self-righteous yell of "Hey, keep to your side" and a minor expletive. And darts back to about the line that he had been holding earlier. I suppose whatever gets his rocks off.
The rider passing from behind was safe and slow and never a problem to anyone in the circumstance. Indeed he had moved off the centre well enough before the prat coming towards me got to him anyway. It's hard not to think that he was hoping otherwise.
KIds, riding bikes on shared paths ?? Pah, under the bicycle education regime in Australia they will always be unpredictable, whether on bikes, on skateboards, or on foot. We all need to simply realise this and deal with it. Lobby for much better road education for all, commencing at about 10 and developed progressively through secondary school
Today I rode with a group of 12 other cyclists, from Melbourne to Altona and back. Almost the entire ride (48kms) was on shared paths. We encountered some groups of pedestrians and individuals. Most of the time we rang our bells, about 10-20m before we passed, then thanked them as we passed. No-one gave us grief or complained about the bell rings (one chap made some remarks but I was past before he said it, so don't know the content).
Some pedestrians needed to move left. I don't see how we were "doing it wrong" - they were walking three wide across the full width of the path. I rang my bell then waited for their response. They moved left and were apologetic (not needed really of course). On my part, ringing the bell is to let people know I am there and then I wait for their response. It's all about a bit of manners - on both parties.
Back near Melbourne we rode down a very busy Southbank past Crown. People everywhere, I didn't ring my bell once - kinda pointless really. Who would I be ringing it at? What reaction would there likely be? I just rode at a suitable speed, avoiding pedestrians and ready to brake. Safe, reasonable riding in my estimation.
Sounds like you might want to ring the bell further back, like a good 6-10 seconds before you pass. This gives pedestrians enough reaction time, and you enough time to ring twice if needed.
The problem with not ringing is that if they don't know you're coming, they might make a really ill-timed move across your intended path.
Yeah, mine too. Not that I was there, but I have absolutely zero hassle with what you describe. Point is, though, you didn't need to ping. As I understand you, it was for convenience and/or courtesy. Which is absolutely fine with me.
Perhaps I could have put it better: if you need to bell-ping for safety, you're doing it wrong.
10- to 20m is perfect. A shout of "bike bike" or "Bike right" isn't anywhere near as noticeble or INSTANTLY understood. And at 10 or 20 metres when you are riding next to a freeway not even a chance of being useful.
One of the easiest changes that can be made for the safety of peds and other cyclists is the fitting of bells (as required anyway) and judicious use of them. Unlike legislative changes or building of infrastructure, it can be implemented immediately. And there are no excuses for not fitting a bell. It can be done by each and everyone of us tomorrow. (Well, maybe after the Easter weekend anyway.)
All ranted out.
A significant number of times I would have caused the pedestrians to be given a rather rude shock. In the cases of those walking three wide, I would have needed to call out from afar, in a manner that many might construe as rude; or slowed to 5kmh behind them and spoken a request; or ridden wide onto the grass (often fraught with its own risks).
Using the bell is simple, effective and pedestrians appreciate it. I guess it's not direct "safety", but it facilitates safe behaviour on the paths.
On Southbank with huge crowds a bell would be very confusing, and the walkway is very wide - more than enough room to calmly weave a safe route at a suitable speed. Not the case on a 2m wide shared path.
Well there you go again describing reasonable things to do I don't mind people doing reasonable things, I really don't. My only point is that there are other reasonable things to do, things that don't involve bell-pinging. Each to their own.
What gets my goat is the bell-ping followed by the marginal overtake. This is a case of someone no doubt imagining it's for my safety or my own good or something when the right thing to do is wait until it's safe. Bell-pinging to compensate for sketchy riding (which is very much not what you are describing) is most certainly doing it wrong. This happens. People describe it on this very forum and I see it when out riding or walking. It is a bad idea. Bad riding is bad riding, bell-pinging or no. OTOH good riding is good riding, bell-pinging or no. Criticising people merely for not bell-pinging (which is where this whole thing started) is a ridiculous stance. So too is criticising people merely for doing it. I am completely unrepentant, however, about criticising people for doing it for no good reason, or worse still for doing it instead of slowing down when the situation requires it. Mea culpa.
Did you read my post?
So whose attempt at ex post facto justification is inept now?
I said clearly that the other issues (the ones that you've tried to pick a fight about) were minor in comparison to the helmet.
Any other unjustified and unwarranted fights you want to pick to try and justify your own assumptions and law breaking behaviour?
I'm okay with that, so long as pedestrians walking or running are banned from using music players which restrict their awareness of other people, bicycles and motor vehicles around them. That will improve the safety of pedestrians as well.
A lot of them with music going will just charge out across the road without looking.
Banning music-players will not stop this sort of behaviour. There's no law known to man that will prevent stupidity.
My Grandad used to say that gambling was a tax on stupidity. It doesn't stop it though.
Your complaints about bell-pinging and passing in your first post were rubbish. They continue to be rubbish. Make them minor points, make them chromatic points for all I care. They're no better for it. What, am I supposed to accept specious nonsense if it's a minor point? I don't think so.
But no, I don't have any "unjustified and unwarranted fights to pick". I've made my point, I stand by it. I've got no idea what assumptions or lawbreaking behaviour you're talking about. The accusation is nothing more than ad hominem, though, and doesn't improve your argument one bit.
When I rode I rode on the basis that people walking with friends on out-of-the-way paths was something they do to escape from the rigours of a busy life. I have always considered my self when I was a cyclist to be bit of an interloper and I should make more allowances for peds than they should for me.
I still see no reason to think otherwise. If they want music with it, so be it.
There is nothing hard about riding amoung peds safely and with consideration. If the worst that we have to do is slow right down when we think that a ped may be a little in their own world then cyclists are still well off.
It is not that difficult to ride safely and with consideration. Albeit sometimes with the annoyance of having to push a bit harder to recover some speed that had been well earned. (Or a loss of a KOM rating. Boo hoo.)
Incidentally I am not a walker. Never saw any point in it since I got my first bike as a kid. And of course peds should value their own safety. But they should not have to be greatly concerned about cyclists as long as they basically do not try and make life difficult.
And while it is easy for me to take this stand now as I ride at such a leisurely pace, I did ride accordingly while I was still able to ride a bike.
It drives me absolutely mad when the person walks right down the middle of a wide path - deliberately with the most wide stance possible with music going, dark glasses on, beanie and the rest. You know the drill, not a regular pedestrian - it's done deliberately!
And yet you lot almost seem to act like that's okay! It's not damn well okay. It's a symptom of rude society today when you are a metre behind them doing about the slowest speed possible short of trying to track stand and shouting at full volume and yet they still take no notice. I say shouting at full volume because 10 rings of the bell did nothing.
And when you do manage to find a way around them, they laugh at how good they are.
I slow down for pedestrians always - yet you seem to suggest I don't. And yet others if you here reckon that people like me encourage bad pedestrian behaviour because we are too cautious??
When I'm a pedestrian, I watch where I'm going, don't have music on and always keep an eye out for cyclists or others. It's called being considerate.
Say whatever you wish - but don't ever say I ride unsafely.
Last edited by g-boaf on Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
If I am the one that is suggesting then I apologise. I was not meaning to, or even directing my comments to you specifically. My comments are very much generalisations.
Fair enough. It just happened to press a button.
In my area - the pedestrians are at war with cyclists, witness the vandalism on paths with anti-cycling messages and constant glass smashing in places where it is least easy to see. It is deliberate. It can be cleaned up one day and glass everywhere the next.
I can well understand your frustration, g-boaf, and sympathise with you. The music-player was not the problem here however
Aaaand today's idiot cyclist was me, for not changing my cleats when I should have done. All the anti-slip stuff was worn away. This resulted in a spectacular stack...in the coffee shop.
Had a coffee at Cleveland Point, decided I would make use of the facilities before we left, walked out the back towards the loos. Down two steps onto the concrete floor (which sloped away from the steps slightly, just for added fun), feet slipped. Both legs went out in front of me, was fully airborne. Crashed down on my elbows and then the back of my head. A nice lady rushed to my aid and got some ice (I was somewhat groggily struggling to my feet).
I'd love to say my pride took the worst battering, but it really really hurt. Turns out solid ground floor concrete doesn't have much give in it. The 40km back to Brisbane was not the most fun I've had on a bike (although thanks are due to my riding buddies who looked after me and did all the work). I've got a very sore wrist, two mildly bruised elbows, a sore neck and shoulder, a sore jaw(!) and a bloody big headache.
Change ya cleats on time, people!
No. Not wrong.
Even if doing things right, to be truly safe any system needs to assume that something can go wrong and so have second and third and more extra safeties built in.
There are plenty of times that a rider is wise to indicate their impending presence. And a bell is a fairly low-key and easy way of doing it. I trust that you are not using that argument to justify not fitting one.
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