Bell gripe

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Re: Bell gripe

Postby Supe » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:24 pm

BrownOnionThighs wrote:
m@ wrote:Sound like he should have read the situation better - it's definitely good practice to give an audible warning (calling 'bike passing right' etc is at least as good as ringing a bell IMO) and given more clearance if passing at speed.

However, it is up to you to check that the lane you are moving into is clear before changing lanes. 'He came out of nowhere' sounds an awful lot like what smidsy motorists say when they fail to shoulder-check (or fail to see a bike right in front of 'em ;) ).


Fair enough, but ...

I did head-check. But in a head check, I'm not looking directly behind me, or behind and to the left of me - I'm not looking at the lane I'm in, I'm looking at the lane I'm going to. There's plenty of unsighted space behind me for a bike to be sitting in. And that's where this guy must have been.



You need a mirror. As Molly Meldrum used to say; 'do yerself a favour and hook one up'.
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by BNA » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:01 am

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Re: Bell gripe

Postby RobertFrith » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:01 am

Anyway, why wouldn't you have a bell? They cost all of $1.99.
Surely it can't be a weight weenie thing, what are they 15grams, 20? Any advance on 20??
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Re: Bell gripe

Postby 318ute » Fri Mar 12, 2010 6:11 am

Head check, mirror, bell etc are all relevant, as is looking before you change lanes.
My issue is the bike lanes are generally in Adelaide wide enough for one bike and as we all know there is crap from the smoke wagons almost exclusively in the bike lane which requires close attention and steering input to avoid flats.
If as most cyclist do we swerve to miss the crap but we remain in the lane and we are unaware of someone coming past we could have a problem because there is quite often a speed differential and unlike a motorvehicle there is no engine noise to heighten your awarness and some other cyclists seem to think it's cool to shave but not for motorvehicles?
The passing vehicle/cyclist has the major responsibility to overtake safely and if the lead cyclist is changing lanes then he has the responsibility to look before moving lanes.

I do see as other points of view have raised that this is a joint responsibility, but I don't group ride, I commute and I am not comfortable having another cyclist skim past me and assuming everyone is experienced could end badly for all? Not trying to make a big deal, but I don't expect a fellow cyclist to become a cause for concern on my commute? :|
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Re: Bell gripe

Postby WonkyWheels » Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:50 am

+1 on looking before change lanes/direction.

Most accident/collision on foot/bicycle/motor-vehicle can be avoided if you are more observant of your surroundings. Scan with your eyes and always head-check.

Don’t blame others next time you have a close call or accident but try to learn from it and avoid it in the future. This is particularly true for bicycles because no matter who hits you, even if it’s not your fault and you have right of way, you lose....
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Re: Bell gripe

Postby Missy24 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:12 pm

RobertFrith wrote:Anyway, why wouldn't you have a bell? They cost all of $1.99.
Surely it can't be a weight weenie thing, what are they 15grams, 20? Any advance on 20??

When they design a bell that doesn't look like a bell and when they can make it small enough to fit on my bike so my handle bars don't look like a dash board from a flight simulator... Then I will put a bell in my bike, I don't care if it costs $50.00 to make it look pretty and neat, I don't like stuff on my bike
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Re: Bell gripe

Postby jules21 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:30 pm

simonn wrote:
jules21 wrote:i'm firmly of the view it is the responsibility of the passing rider to warn a rider in front, when passing them. as others have pointed out, you don't need a bell, a simple "passing!" will do.


Your view < the law, by a long way.

Relying on a "passing!", "ting ting" or "honk honk", however polite it may be, is dangerous precisely because it is not the law, ergo there is absolutely no requirement for a passing rider do do it.


i think you're confusing my saying that someone who is overtaking is responsible for warning others in front with meaning that the latter bear no responsibilities. i think everyone has a responsibility to ride with due care on shared/bike paths.

on the road, it is a specific offence to change lanes and overtake unless the driver has ensured it is safe to do so. generally, the road rules are very prescriptive around allowable behaviour on roads - which do not include bike or shared paths (this is a point of much confusion - although the road rules as a body of legislation apply to shared paths, many of the specific rules contained within it do not).

the bottom line is, the rules around behaviour on shared bike paths are relatively undeveloped. there are some specific rules - i.e. keep left and give way to pedestrians. i could be wrong, but i suspect you'd find it hard to convince a police officer that a rider who veered in your path as you attempted to overtake him on a shared path had broken the law. thus, common sense and courtesy is the best policy.
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Re: Bell gripe

Postby x8pg2qr » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:37 pm

RobertFrith wrote:Anyway, why wouldn't you have a bell? They cost all of $1.99.
Surely it can't be a weight weenie thing, what are they 15grams, 20? Any advance on 20??


I think there are many reasons—Missy24 mentions one in a following post. But all reasons are invalidated if the bell is legally required.

There are also many reasons to not have a helmet, to run a red light, to ride across pedestrian crossings—but none are valid, as these are illegal. I would sometimes love to ride without a helmet as well (uphill, summertime), but I don't. Cos… it's illegal.

As for the OP: I think the lack-of-bell-ringing is a red herring. The other rider's fault was not giving the OP enough space, or not following the useful "assume you're invisible to other people" guide. What the other rider did (as the OP described) is bad practice, whether or not he had a bell. It doesn't change anything if he rang a bell—what if the OP was deaf? The other rider should still have read the situation and gave more space.

Now, I wasn't there, so my opinion may mean naught.
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Re: Bell gripe

Postby simonn » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:45 pm

jules21 wrote:on the road, it is a specific offence to change lanes and overtake unless the driver has ensured it is safe to do so.


BrownOnionThighs was in a "bike lane", therefore on the road. Did he "ensure it was safe to" "change lanes"? No.

Did the other rider? Possibly.
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Re: Bell gripe

Postby jules21 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:02 pm

cripes.. sorry i read it as being on a shared path for some reason :)
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Re: Bell gripe

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:15 pm

I still recall that when riding a bike, the better the check behind, then the longer your eyes are off the road in front. Further, it's not always easy to do it without a small wander to the side being checked. Thirdly as indicated earlier, cyclists, unlike cars, can hide right behind or to the other side quite effectively.

As a passing cyclist, it is emcumbant on you to be aware of these limitations and to treat the situation as the worst possible case.

Before all you "excellent" riders say everyone else should up the skills, you are likely denying your own occasional problem with these basic maneuvres. I mean, in traffic, how many thousands of times a year do you do these maneuvres. MANY. They will not always be perfect.

btw I notice now as I get older my ability to discern with certainty the image behind me is greatly reduced. And I fail to see that people should lose the enjoyment of riding just because they age. I would respect any rider that recognizes his and others failings and rides accordingly.

I mean, 30 centimetres clearance of a rider, whose skill level you can't be sure of, while travelling at speed in traffic? It's a no brainer.

(A little annoyance - Those totally uncool old bells that give a rattling ring should be back in all the shops. Instead they mostly stock "cool", not "effective". They stock those little "ding" ones that you have to pull back two or three times to get a pretty chime that sounds about as alarming as tapping a champagne flute and only make me think it's happy hour.)
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Re: Bell gripe

Postby WonkyWheels » Fri Mar 12, 2010 5:03 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:I still recall that when riding a bike, the better the check behind, then the longer your eyes are off the road in front. Further, it's not always easy to do it without a small wander to the side being checked. Thirdly as indicated earlier, cyclists, unlike cars, can hide right behind or to the other side quite effectively.

As a passing cyclist, it is emcumbant on you to be aware of these limitations and to treat the situation as the worst possible case.

Before all you "excellent" riders say everyone else should up the skills, you are likely denying your own occasional problem with these basic maneuvres. I mean, in traffic, how many thousands of times a year do you do these maneuvres. MANY. They will not always be perfect.

btw I notice now as I get older my ability to discern with certainty the image behind me is greatly reduced. And I fail to see that people should lose the enjoyment of riding just because they age. I would respect any rider that recognizes his and others failings and rides accordingly.

I mean, 30 centimetres clearance of a rider, whose skill level you can't be sure of, while travelling at speed in traffic? It's a no brainer.

(A little annoyance - Those totally uncool old bells that give a rattling ring should be back in all the shops. Instead they mostly stock "cool", not "effective". They stock those little "ding" ones that you have to pull back two or three times to get a pretty chime that sounds about as alarming as tapping a champagne flute and only make me think it's happy hour.)





Sorry but I don't buy that. It’s a poor excuse.

Head checking is a must. Period.

Motorcycle riders do it all the time and they are travelling at much high speeds in amongst the traffic.

If a bicycle rider changes lane or direction without head checking, that just like a car driver changing lanes without indicating or looking and that plain stupid.

In the OP’s situation. What happens if it was a car that flew by not another cyclist?
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Re: Bell gripe

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Fri Mar 12, 2010 5:21 pm

Wonky, I never said it was not a must. Not even close. I simply stated that it can be hard to do effectively. And almost everyone will fail on occasion. And therein is the gist of my caution. If you understood me to be putting the responsibility for safe passing onto the follower, I apoligise.

Checking is not a certainly to work, as described in my post. And passers would be well advised to know that and to act accordingly. Self righteous and alleged superiority in certain skills does not excuse even a highly skilled rider from riding as if the world has only perfect riders riding in perfect circumstance at all times. That seemed to be the case in the original post on this thread.

Like motorists who think they are exceptional at handling a vehicle, too many riders THINK they are among the exceptional. Even if they are, others not so legendary will be riding with them, as is their right.

Yeah. Check. As best as you can in the moment. Try to not be in a situation where you may have to take evasive action (not always up to you though). But also assume that the bloke in front may not be so competent, may be distracted, may have to make an unplanned but hasty move due to circumstances, may wander 30cm. All those things and more.

And a bell is the easiest improvement to make. Though I expect within the next few years riders will be able to buy the iBell Tourer, download irritating ring tones and then drive the rest of us off the paths and road so we can drive to work in relative peace. Perish the thought, huh?
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Re: Bell gripe

Postby Nobody » Fri Mar 12, 2010 5:31 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:(A little annoyance - Those totally uncool old bells that give a rattling ring should be back in all the shops. Instead they mostly stock "cool", not "effective". They stock those little "ding" ones that you have to pull back two or three times to get a pretty chime that sounds about as alarming as tapping a champagne flute and only make me think it's happy hour.)
The only "ding" bell I have found effective is this one:

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http://www.velo-orange.com/jabrsbe.html
It has quite a long and reasonably loud "ding" (especially for its size).

The most effective bell I've found is the "Ding Dong". Nothing louder in bells so far, but heavy.
http://www.moruyabicycles.com.au/conten ... _bell.html
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Re: Bell gripe

Postby WonkyWheels » Fri Mar 12, 2010 5:49 pm

No problem ColinOldnCranky. Thanks for making that clear.

Shlt happens and no one is perfect. That’s why it's best to practice.

Practice doing quick headchecks without loosing your line or running into the back of someone or a parked car.

Practice your emergency stop.

Practice swerving to avoid obstacles. Just make sure you don't swerve into other riders or cars.

I think part of the problem is that people don't take the safety aspects of riding seriously.
Some people think they can just hop on a bike for the first time and ride it to the shops in traffic and it's all good.

It's a dangerous sport/recreation and should be treated as such.

I wouldn’t say a bell is a must but saying “passing” or similar is just proper etiquette.

In the OP’s situation. Both riders were in the wrong. I just don’t like how people are always quick to blame others.
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Re: Bell gripe

Postby rearviewmirror » Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:46 pm

I don't like bells, so I don't run one. In my 7 months of commuting 5 days per week I've never heard anyone else ring a bell in any circumstance. I have to say, if someone is lollygagging around an obstacle on the road I'll probably blow by them too. Same thing when the car in front of you is slow to make the hook turn, most of us will just punch it and move past them. It's all relative I guess.
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Re: Bell gripe

Postby rkelsen » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:50 pm

rearviewmirror wrote:In my 7 months of commuting 5 days per week I've never heard anyone else ring a bell in any circumstance.

You're kidding me? I hear at least 3 or 4 per day.

Bell schmell. I'm trying to figure out how to wire up and mount the airhorn from an old Fiat on my bike. Clear path anyone? But if I have to have a bell, I want one from a tram. 8)
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Re: Bell gripe

Postby toolonglegs » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:04 pm

rkelsen wrote:Bell schmell. I'm trying to figure out how to wire up and mount the airhorn from an old Fiat on my bike. Clear path anyone? But if I have to have a bell, I want one from a tram. 8)


Everytime I called passing on the right, riders would do stupid things (espeically in mtb races!)..like pull right!...or speed up to jump on or just wobble on their merry way.These days (not that is much of an issue in my country lanes) I just blast past giving a wide berth of a couple of meters...saying hello as I am past.
And quite seriously when you are hammering into the wind you don't hear cars coming up behind you half the time...so before you change lines always head check properly...your safety is your responsibility whether you wear lycra or tweed.
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Re: Bell gripe

Postby kukamunga » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:50 pm

One of the best bells I have found is a brass 'incredi-bell' style item labelled "n+1" from Abbotsford Cycles here in Melbourne for $8. It lets out the most pure, loud, long lasting "piiiiiiinggggg" I have yet heard on a bicycle bell. I do not know who distributes them.....

I have compared it to a more expensive BBB Easyfit Deluxe bell, and the BBB item aint half as good. Why would you make a bell out of brass and then paint it, dulling it's sound, and have a stainlees steel mounted striker that continually misaligns itself (I only bought it for my SSuperlite because it was small and white) :?
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Re: Bell gripe

Postby Nobody » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:37 pm

kukamunga wrote:Why would you make a bell out of brass and then paint it, dulling it's sound,...
Because it doesn't need polishing like my Sound Bell (pic above).
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Re: Bell gripe

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:15 pm

Missy24 wrote:When they design a bell that doesn't look like a bell and when they can make it small enough to fit on my bike so my handle bars don't look like a dash board from a flight simulator... Then I will put a bell in my bike, I don't care if it costs $50.00 to make it look pretty and neat, I don't like stuff on my bike

There was an electric device that got stuffed inside the bar and was activated by a pressure switch going around on the webz a while back, damned if I can remember anything about it except "Jeez that's clever". Anybody else have a clue?

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Re: Bell gripe

Postby slik50 » Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:42 am

I have to say I also get annoyed by people doing silly things on bike paths. In general it's often related to people just riding too fast.

I notice quite oftn on my commute that many riders like to pass pedestrians on a shared path at 40km/h. I think it's quite simple if you want to pass someone (pedestrian or cyclist), slow down make some noise then say hello. Particularly if there is another hazard around that might make their movements unpredicatable.

A headcheck is always a good idea, but not very effective if the person going past is travelling more than twice your speed.

just my 2 cents.

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Re: Bell gripe

Postby trailgumby » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:31 pm

Bells:
I had a lot of trouble finding a bell that I could fit on the bar in an ergonomic position, while also keeping my controls in an ergonomic position. Too often, after I'd got the controls positioned right, the bell just wouldn't fit because the bar diameter was too fat at that point. :x (All my bikes have 31.8mm clamp diameter mtb riser bars)

Finally I cracked a wobbly and bought a handful of random different ones and tried them out sequentially until I got one that fit requirements and the bar.

The one on my commuter has a plastic backing/mount that holds water, unfortunately, so instead of a nice "PinGGG!" all I get in the wet is a "thup!" :roll:

Headchecks:
Changing line is a major safety problem, especially off road. The only way I can do a headcheck on the bike without my line drifting is by tilting my head down until my chin is resting on my shoulder. This seems to avoid the effort of twisting my head then feeding into handlebar inputs.
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Re: Bell gripe

Postby casual_cyclist » Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:10 pm

This morning a ped was pushing a pram down the middle of the shared path on the wrong side of the white line :shock:. As I approached her I called out a loud "bike passing". She immediately moved to the left and as I passed she called out a cheery "thanks". I responded with a "thank you" and continued past. There was plenty of room for both of us once she moved over. No need for angst at all.
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Re: Bell gripe

Postby Fred Nurk » Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:33 pm

Actually, whilst it may be acknowledged that the OP may have been partially in the wrong for not checking / indicating in terms of changing lanes, I don't think the experience is entirely unique.

Twice now I've been overtaken by some lycra wearing tools that buzz me in the bike lane with very little room to spare. The first time I swerved left as I heard them just before they passed me, the second I had no warning at all, just a flash of lycra and some tool whizzing within centimetres of my bike. The only common trait I noticed was that they were wearing all the go-fast gear, and really didn't seem to care. At no stage was I attempting to merge into the lane, or change lanes, or any similar behaviour. Both events were within the last week.

I'm not really a fan of using a bell in such situations, its not normal in a car, and I don't see that its required for a pushbike. What I would expect though, and I'm guessing from my recent experiences is that its too much to ask, is that I'm given a reasonable berth when someone wants to overtake me. I can only assume that since the cars are in the very next lane going at about 80km/h, the pseudo-cyclists would rather chance knocking me over rather than brave the traffic.

As far as I'm concerned, bike lanes are really single lanes. If you want to ride two abreast, thats fine, but don't expect that every other cyclist will magically move over for you. Same with not overtaking within a lane just because it appears wide enough.

There is, though, a special place in hell for the idiots who ride scooters in the bike lane.
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Re: Bell gripe

Postby gavinr » Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:11 pm

I found that the best 'bell' was actually a horn-type thing.

The main purpose is alerting pedestrians to your presence on a shared path, and I found every bell I tried just was just not loud enough. Particularly for those people walking and listening to their iPods (other mobile listening devices are available) at the same time. Don't people realise how dangerous that is? Haven't they heard about this accident?

But for those debating shouting vs bell ringing, this made me smile. It might need some modification to be of any use here. :)
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