Az0r_au wrote:Or walk along one with loud headphones in to simulate being unable to hear the bell. It's spooky.
Might be spooky from a cyclist's point of view but it seems to be completely normal for most other people. A while ago, I passed a pedestrian on the Dandenong Creek path (just near the basketball stadium near the freeway). As I passed, the pedestrian pulled the earbud out of his idiot ear and told me I should have rang my bell, to which I slowed almost to a stop and informed him that I had rang my bell, TWICE, along with a few loudly mumbled swear words.
Then a few months ago I passed a group of three elderly ladies on the Darebin Crk path. I rang the bell and one of the ladies looked back and saw me. Thinking all was okay, I rode past, when a second lady told me I should ring my bell to which the first lady told her that I had. I thanked her and moved on. The third lady did nothing and as far as I could tell, was completely oblivious to the goings on around her. Maybe she didn't want to get involved, lol.
And then there are pedestrians who are completely zoned out and don't 'hear' bicycle bells anymore. It's like their brains have been trained to simply ignore it.
So what do you do?
Most times I ring my bell. And I always thank pedestrians who acknowledge me. Those that don't I always treat with a little more caution and usually ring my bell a second time. Even at the risk of sounding like 'get out of my way'. It's too bad if pedestrians think that because it's not my intention.
In the OP's case, I think the main issue was that the OP doesn't appear to have warned the pedestrian either by bell or voice that he was passing and she was unaware of the OP until the other riders rang their bells, presumably from some distance behind. And was then startled to have the OP right there all of a sudden.
In the case of prams, I usually slow to a crawl and use my voice to warn of my presence. A bell might wake up a sleeping baby. But you still need to give a warning that you're approaching.
What's really annoying is having two or three mothers with prams walking side by side taking up the entire path without any intention of letting you past. Whilst cyclists have to 'give way' to pedestrians on shared paths, they're called 'shared' paths for a reason and pedestrians have a level of responsibility to ensure they don't block the path for other users. But luckily, this doesn't happen to me very often.