open topic, for anything cycling related.
I usually ding about 15 metres behind. If they have an ipod or similar in, or just look vague or old or distracted I also yell bike coming about 10 metres back. Some people give a quick hand wave on my first ding so i know they're okay.
I call "passing" about two seconds back. Close enough to be heard, gives them a second to become aware but not too much time to dive across the path etc.
Only time I've been caught out is when going to pass another cyclist, called out 'passing' and he decided to rubberneck and drifted into my path. The concept of "hold your line" didn't occur to him, obviously!
Had a dumb cyclist today - unusually hard to pass because he sat on the right hand side of the on-road lane and didn't move over even when he knew I was there and wanted to pass, halfway up the next hill he sprinted past me, and once over the top did the roadblock manoeuvre again.
I ride, therefore I am.
...real cyclists don't have squeaky chains...
Thanks for clearing that up.
I was pretty dumb today - almost went through a red because I tried to anticipate the light sequence (the turning tram got priority and I misread the route number. ). Stopped myself before it was too late but I must have looked really dumb as I was stopped for the light, started rolling and then had to stop again before entering the intersection. I gave myself an internal smack to not do that again. Bad bad.
Just the usual morons again this morning who display the 'Must Get In Front' syndrome...queued traffic means he can't get past on the left - no problem, just ride down the wrong side of the road. Oh carp, traffic's starting to move - what do I do now? Slot in behind a car? Nah, I'll just try and out pedal them, then go straight ahead in front of a right turner who luckily saw your asshattery and slowed down to let you cut in front.
There was also a moron riding down William St, straddling the lane separation line (it's a two-lane section southbound). Drivers were as confused as I was - no idea why he didn't sit in primary position of either lane where he can be seen and other road users can be sure of his intentions.
I have a bell on 2 out of my 3 bikes. In my mind, on a PSP the safety of all the other users is my responsibility - that is how I interpret "give way". That means that I adjust my speed and passing distance in order to be able to safely deal with any unexpected behaviour without a collision. The bell, or voice, is used purely to improve the predictability of behaviour from the other users and make my job a bit easier. So this means, every time I come up behind someone I am making a conscious judgement as to whether I think the bell will improve their predictability or not. A significant minority of people will react unpredictability to the sound of a bell. They will jump to the right into your path, or look over their shoulder and drift across right (especially kids or other less experienced cyclists). When someone is walking or cycling steadily on the left side of the path and appear to be aware of their surroundings, they are already predictable and I feel that a bell might make some of them more unpredictable. I will ring the bell for small children, people with dogs, people looking a bit oblivious and so on, as they are already unpredictable and the bell will probably improve things. On my bike without a bell, because I don't have a loud voice I need to adjust my speed a bit more so that I have time to call out without feeling like I am shouting at them. Even occasionally with children I don't ring the bell, if they look like they are in good control of their bike and are on the far left of the path. I just slow right down and move to the far right of the path. I have had quite a few instances where ringing the bell has caused a kid that was previously riding along nicely has looked around at me and then drifted over into my path.
But some people do get upset about the absence of a bell and I can understand why. I am sure it is not nice to be startled by an unexpected bike passing by. Unfortunately startling people is the price we pay until we get to the point where all people on shared path recognise the bell as a gentle signal that someone is coming and to stay left. They might be startled, but by the time they are, I have already passed and there is no chance of a collision. While some people continue to react unpredictably to the sound of a bell, I will continue to only use it when I feel it will help and refrain otherwise. Safety is the first priority, the politeness of letting them know I am coming is second. The other day I had a lady complain at me for not using the bell (even though I passed her safely and she had no objection on that front) and I rode along next to her for a bit and tried to explain to her why, but I couldn't get through. It was a polite conversation, but ineffective, so I won't be bothering with that again. Although I have previously had success with that conversation off the bike, with people who when they find out you are a cyclist bring it up as a gripe.
The other time I don't ring the bell is when it really congested and/or very poor lines of sight and I figure I am better keeping my hands on the bars and covering the brakes.
Of course, the bell is occasionally needed for people taking up the whole width of the path. Most of the time it works just fine. Of course you occasionally get the one goes left, one goes right and the third one stops dead centre and looks at you in confusion. But it normally ends with a laugh and a hearty apology, so it is not worth getting bent out of shape over. I try to cut a bit of slack to the mothers out with their prams. The chance to get outside, get some exercise and talk to other new mothers has to be really important for some of them. It is a very rare person who is not prepared to let you by, once they know you are coming.
The two things I do really dislike are the ipod wearers who wander all over the path (the ones keeping left are just fine) and, most of all, people with unleashed dogs.
It's the Bell Grande from Velogear Dave. Looks and sounds great and being Italian AND non electrical, you KNOW it will work
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
Not much chance of the car stopping in time on that occasion.
to the num nut cycling along tekapo st westlake qld at 7pm tonight:
1. you need a front light
2. your rear facing light should not be white (it was white, and on)
3. you need a red rear facing light
it's dark in Brissy about 5:30-6pm. it was well after that
That's pretty much my take on it too. Riding safely is the priority, as you rightly point out. It's possible to ride safely and sound a bell roughly never. Because of this, I find the criticism of not having a bell completely unwarranted. The expectation that I should always sound my bell when passing is stupid*. I don't intend to start gratifying the stupid expectations of random strangers anytime soon. Bell + sensible riding is fine with me. No bell + sensible riding too. Take the sensible riding away and I have an issue, bell or no bell. The only thing I need one for, near as I can judge, is meeting some stupid expectations and not breaking a stupid law.
* Among other things, I can't see it scaling worth a tinker's cuss, so it must be some kind of depends-on-the-situation thing and I suspect asking 10 different people when you have to ping your bell would get you 10 different answers
Out on a milk run this evening, I came upon a skullwired meanderer. The Bell Grande at 20m went unheard. At 15m, I detected a slight lift of the head as in: "Did I just hear something external? Nah." At 10m and down to a fast walk pace, a 0.5 second burst from the below finally attracted attention and a vague shuffle to the left(ish).
London Boy 29/12/2011
For information sakes for the WA readers, the Western Australian Road Code 2000 requires a bell or similar warning device in working order has to be affixed to the bike. The Road Traffic (Bicycles) Regulations 2002 regulation 7 take this a step further requiring the bell or warning device to be fixed in a convenient position.
I cannot recall any regulations about actually using a warning device but however, if one hit a pedestrian, not being able to show ones use of a warning device may not depending on the circumstances play in one's favour I suspect.
The bell works well for me on the shared path*. Most, including those I pass regularly, move left on the first ding from about 20m back. Others move left on a second ding from 5-10m, the rest do nothing. When that happens I pass at about 10ks with my finger ready for further dingage.
I find it works well with a large majority of dogs too. The high pitch seems to often make them freeze which is exactly what you want.
A couple of months ago I dinged a female jogger who moved left and as I passed she said ‘you could at least thank me’. When I ding, my intent is to let them know I’m there what they do is up to them so I don’t see why a thanks is necessary. Despite that, I thought about what she said and have started waving a thanks to those that make a real effort to move. I’ve found it feels good to do that and I hope the goodwill is received.
I got a funny reaction to a ding a couple of weeks ago. The guy turned around and raised his arms in worship as though his messiah is a bicycle bell. Had a chuckle.
*Except when it’s wet. The bell is quite a bit quieter and has little sustain when it’s wet.
My usual trick is to call out passing on the right or whatever and then say thanks. That usually keeps most people happy and it's a bit more friendly than a bell.
Or in one case, "passing -not as fast as him" in reference to the (certain western Sydney cycling club) guy who had just gone past them at close to 40km/h. To which they chuckled with laughter. I'd followed the other guy for a while (with a bit of a gap) before deciding it was my go slow day, and there are a few pedestrians about now, time to slow down.
I only go that quickly now on M7 or if there are no pedestrians about on very wide shared paths where I can see what is ahead.
When I'm out walking and/or running on shard paths, I really do appreciate the bell from cyclists.
In my experience, the cyclists riding along the foreshore paths use it 90+% of the time, whereas when I'm on the PSP next to the freeway, bell usage is like 10%.
I try always to thank people - pedestrians, motorists, other cyclists - who adjust their behaviour to accommodate my cycling. Apart from the courtesy element, I can't think of anything more likely to ensure that they keep doing it.
+1. I'm forever waving and/or giving a thumbsup to motorists when they actually observe me arm out indicating a lane change, etc.
2011ish Avanti Quantum (DIY), 2010 Specialized Tricross, 2010 Salsa Casseroll
Had a similar thing happen to me on Nothbourne yesterday morning. I was just coming back from a ride to the Tulip Farm and going through the lights at Dickson when a 4WD drove past and indicated he was going to turn left. So I slowed down to let him do his turn and made sure I was in his mirror range. Next minute this hairy legged clown on a road bike comes blasting past like he's trying for KOM on a Strava segment. The 4WD manages to turn and not hit Mr Hurry Hairy Legs and I continue on my way. A few hundred metres later while riding at E1 I caught Mr HHL but decided just to sit behind him (not on his wheel, a couple of bike lengths back) as I was in no particular hurry and didn't want to look like a tosser the same as him. He kept slowing down and going slower and slower until eventually when there was a break in the traffic I went out in traffic lane and overtook him. Next minute I look back and he is on my wheel. WT?. Stupid pr!(k. I started stopping for the next set of traffic lights (didn't bother to signal or call stopping, I didn't invite the guy to suck my wheel so if he crashes that's not my problem) and then he decides instead of waiting at the lights like I was he was now going to be a pedestrian and rides up onto the footpath. At least he was now away from me.
I was the dumb cyclist this morning. If you were the bloke I scared climbing up to St Lucia golf course, I can only apologise. Got caught out and had to make a split-second decision where to go. Picked the wrong one and went left (riders behind me on my right). Bad bad bad bad. Sorry mate, will do better in future...
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