To Ding or not to Ding

open topic, for anything cycling related.

Re: To Ding or not to Ding

Postby arkle » Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:47 am

Venus62 wrote:It just made me so sad that cyclists can't win, even when doing the right thing. Despised on roads by motorists and despised on shared paths by pedestrians. :cry:

Having said that, most pedestrians we encountered were friendly when they saw we weren't trying to mow them down.


Clearly cyclists can win, since most pedestrians were friendly. I don't think you can say that the attitude of a single old woman means that cyclists are "despised on shared paths." You make it sound like you want to be despised and you're willing to use the attitude of 1% of the path users to reinforce that belief.

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Re: To Ding or not to Ding

Postby Venus62 » Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:03 am

arkle wrote:Clearly cyclists can win, since most pedestrians were friendly. I don't think you can say that the attitude of a single old woman means that cyclists are "despised on shared paths." You make it sound like you want to be despised and you're willing to use the attitude of 1% of the path users to reinforce that belief.

arkle


Really? I want to be despised? What a strange thing to say.
I know that the majority of pedestrians aren't like this, just like the majority of motorists don't try to run you off the road.

My point is that it only takes the minority of intolerant pedestrians or motorists to take the gloss off an otherwise pleasant day.
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Re: To Ding or not to Ding

Postby Nobody » Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:28 pm

Venus62 wrote:Really? I want to be despised? What a strange thing to say.
I know that the majority of pedestrians aren't like this, just like the majority of motorists don't try to run you off the road.

My point is that it only takes the minority of intolerant pedestrians or motorists to take the gloss off an otherwise pleasant day.
+1
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Re: To Ding or not to Ding

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:22 pm

Nobody wrote:
Venus62 wrote:Really? I want to be despised? What a strange thing to say.
I know that the majority of pedestrians aren't like this, just like the majority of motorists don't try to run you off the road.

My point is that it only takes the minority of intolerant pedestrians or motorists to take the gloss off an otherwise pleasant day.
+1


Annnd another.

Just blow her a kiss Venus and ask her why she herself isn't riding ...

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Re: To Ding or not to Ding

Postby il padrone » Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:46 pm

She's in an anrcho-syndacalist commune!

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Re: To Ding or not to Ding

Postby Michael A » Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:32 pm

I'm a newbie to this forum. My first post will be as follows:

I ding.
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Re: To Ding or not to Ding

Postby warthog1 » Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:22 pm

Michael A wrote:I'm a newbie to this forum. My first post will be as follows:

I ding.


:lol:

Best first post I've seen for a while.
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Re: To Ding or not to Ding

Postby DavidS » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:18 am

il padrone wrote:She's in an anrcho-syndacalist commune!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvKIWjnEPNY&feature=endscreen&NR=1[/youtube]


Huh, anarcho-syndicalists are much nicer than that lady on the park bench.

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Re: To Ding or not to Ding

Postby Venus62 » Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:28 am

DavidS wrote:Huh, anarcho-syndicalists are much nicer than that lady on the park bench.

DS


I would have to agree, David. And I will try the kiss-blowing next time. Shaun!
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Re: To Ding or not to Ding

Postby gobsec » Sun Feb 24, 2013 3:50 pm

I have enjoyed reading this thread for the past couple of weeks as it has unfolded, for a variety of reasons: how a single issue can evoke such a range of responses, and how I find myself logically disagreeing with those whose contributions in other threads are typically very soundly based. I thought I would offer my contribution to the debate. But before doing so, some background information and attitudes upon which my approach to this issue is based:

My daily commute incorporates the Gardiners Creek and the Main Yarra shared paths in Melbourne. Typically every day I travel about 20 kilometres along those paths, but many days that increases to about 35 kilometres if I am doing extra distance along side routes. I have been doing that for a long time.

To me the rules of the shared path are very simple: I must give way at all times to pedestrians. While according to the road rules that is not an absolute- as Il Padrone and others have pointed out- I find it easier to work that way, simply because I do not wish to collide with a pedestrian. That results in scenarios I observe every day: if I am riding up behind a pedestrian and I cannot overtake safely I slow down and even stop if necessary until safe to overtake. I do not try to slip past- I wait. If I am wishing to overtake a pedestrian or cyclist, and a pedestrian or cyclist is coming the other way, I wait until they pass before I overtake. Whenever I approach a pedestrian I ride in such a way that means I can respond appropriately if they make unexpected movements. And I observe their body language closely as I approach so as to plan any evasive action that might be required.

In using that approach I have safe and very enjoyable rides each day. Sounds very slow, though, doesn't it? Actually no, because I like to ride as fast as the conditions allow. Which means my speed varies depending on the nature of the path and its congestion.

While many have posted that pedestrians appreciate being "dinged" I am not so convinced. I know myself that I don't appreciate it, either as a pedestrian or as a cyclist- it always gives me a start if I haven't already heard the cyclist approaching from behind. I have spoken to many others who hate it just as much as me. Many many times I have observed the irritation of pedestrians being unnecessarily dinged on the path.

So I don't ring a bell at all at pedestrians. Why would I? No matter what, I have to give way to them. If they cross into my path I must avoid them. If they bunch up again I must avoid them. Am I warning them to keep a straight line because I, a cyclist, am approaching from behind? Well sorry, I have no right to do that- if they wish to diverge they can, and it is my responsibility to avoid them.

The idea of using the bell as a pre-emptive warning is repugnant to me and insulting to the pedestrian- it is predicated on the assumption that the pedestrian cannot be trusted. I know from observation how annoying it is to those pedestrians who think about their environment, analyse the best and safest way to walk on the shared path, and get sick of being treated as potentially erratic by cyclists approaching from behind- especially when it is those cyclists who must give way and must ride so that they can do so.

I find it is much better to ride quietly past the pedestrian and, in doing so, to separate myself from the pedestrian as much as possible. If they are on the far left of the path I will still ride on the far right. If I can leave a couple of metres between us, that is a lot safer than slipping past, and a lot more courteous to the pedestrian. If a pedestrian is walking like that, it can be tempting to just shift over a little, but we need to avoid that temptation- it is like car drivers who just slip past us on the roads rather than diverging to the adjoining lane. In the same way if a pedestrian is approaching me and walking on their far left of the path, I will ensure I am cycling on my far left; again an act of courtesy and respect.

Treating the pedestrians with respect will garner reciprocal behaviour.

If pedestrians are walking so that they are taking up not only the left lane but part of the right, I will slow down and then slip through the gap. If the gap is really small or non-existent I will call out, and because I am travelling slowly by then the call can be easily heard. My initial call is polite, but if there is no response, then they are not being courteous or respectful to me, and subsequent calls are not so polite. The same tactic is used if I am approaching pedestrians walking towards me but taking up most or all of the path.

I find many of the unsatisfactory interactions between cyclist and pedestrians on shared pathways is due to a reluctance by cyclists to slow down. The result can be overtaking which endangers them, the pedestrians they are overtaking, and those approaching from the other direction. Ringing your bell at the pedestrian in front of you merely because you simply can't be bothered slowing down to properly give way to them is unacceptable behaviour.

Personally I am very happy to slow down where necessary, not only because it feels good to being considerate and courteous to others, but because the subsequent acceleration is an enjoyable part of riding hard. It is also a way to enjoy bike handling skills if you have to slow down so much that a track stand is necessary while waiting for the path to clear. I really enjoy getting back up to speed after such an encounter.

The upshot is that I enjoy riding along the shared paths, and have very few encounters that cause anything other than a rueful smile to myself. The only time I get really irritated is when an incessant bell ringing cyclist comes up behind me and ruins my quiet and peaceful commute. In those situations I accelerate and lose them behind me to regain equanimity.
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Re: To Ding or not to Ding

Postby il padrone » Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:40 pm

gobsec wrote:Well sorry, I have no right to do that- if they wish to diverge they can, and it is my responsibility to avoid them.

Our road rules tell us that this is not strictly the case. Pedestrians are not permitted to move "into the path of a vehicle"

gobsec wrote:The idea of using the bell as a pre-emptive warning is repugnant to me and insulting to the pedestrian- it is predicated on the assumption that the pedestrian cannot be trusted.

I know from observation that a very large proportion of pedestrians will behave erratically (ie. they cannot be trusted) unless I ring my bell, to tell them I am approaching.

gobsec wrote:I find it is much better to ride quietly past the pedestrian and, in doing so, to separate myself from the pedestrian as much as possible. If they are on the far left of the path I will still ride on the far right. If I can leave a couple of metres between us, that is a lot safer than slipping past, and a lot more courteous to the pedestrian.

I do all of this, after I have rung my bell beforehand.

gobsec wrote:Treating the pedestrians with respect will garner reciprocal behaviour.

Correct, and I see use of a bell as part of that respect. Like you I see obligations upon both parties, it's just that I don't think pedestrians should be subjected to functioning 'in the dark' about riders who may be approaching. When I am walking on a shared path I much rather hearing a judicious bell-ring, in advance of course.
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Re: To Ding or not to Ding

Postby bychosis » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:22 pm

As stated before I lean towards not ringing while ever I feel that I will not impede, nor be impacted by the pedestrian.

gobsec wrote:Treating the pedestrians with respect will garner reciprocal behaviour.


Correct.

gobsec wrote:If the gap is really small or non-existent I will call out, and because I am travelling slowly by then the call can be easily heard. My initial call is polite, but if there is no response, then they are not being courteous or respectful to me, and subsequent calls are not so polite.


While a call out can be polite or not so polite, a bell always carries the same tone. A bell also does not need to be heard then understood, merely heard - it always says the same thin: 'Bike'
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Re: To Ding or not to Ding

Postby arkle » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:39 pm

I frequently walk (and run) on shared paths. When a bike comes past at speed with no warning I always get a shock. My muscles jump around my ribs and I feel adrenaline. I don't like it when the bikes make me jump.

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Re: To Ding or not to Ding

Postby Xenon » Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:06 pm

Another newbie wading in, I consider the bell a nice gesture; a chance to be acknowledge and be polite to other shared path users.

A little like smiling and saying good morning/afternoon to pedestrians going the other way.
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Re: To Ding or not to Ding

Postby arkle » Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:36 pm

Rule from the NSW government webpage on shared path safety ( http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/roadsafety/bi ... paths.html )

"Use your bell to let people know you are approaching."

Rule from the WA government webpage on shared path safety and courtesy ( http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/activetr ... /24950.asp )

"When approaching pedestrians from behind, always ring your bell about 30 metres before reaching them. If they are aware of your presence with plenty of time to spare, they are less likely to make sudden sideways movements."

From the Austroads government document on shared path safety

"Rule 258 – a person must not ride a bicycle that does not have a bell, horn, or similar warning device in working order. "

and for WA

"Courtesy also indicates that the cyclist should slow down when passing pedestrians and should always ring the bell about 30 m before reaching them."

and for SA

"when riding on any path, the rider must exercise due care and consideration for pedestrians and other users, give warning to pedestrians or other users of approach by sounding the bell or horn"

and for ACT

"If approaching pedestrians from behind, cyclists must ring their bell to let them know they are coming, slow down as they pass and give them right of way."

Rule from the VICRoads government webpage on shared path courtesy and safety ( http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/Home/Saf ... dPaths.htm )

"All bike riders are required to have a bell or similar warning device on their bicycle. When overtaking other path users they should use this warning device or their voice to warn others."

I mean, it seems to be a universal requirement everywhere you go.

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Re: To Ding or not to Ding

Postby g-boaf » Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:43 am

arkle wrote:Rule from the NSW government webpage on shared path safety ( http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/roadsafety/bi ... paths.html )

"Use your bell to let people know you are approaching."

...............

"All bike riders are required to have a bell or similar warning device on their bicycle. When overtaking other path users they should use this warning device or their voice to warn others."

I mean, it seems to be a universal requirement everywhere you go.

arkle


Let's also have a rule that pedestrians can't have things shoved in their ears that prevents them from hearing the warning devices like bells, horns, etc. Seriously - what's the point of a bell if they can't hear it? The law needs to catch up with the iGeneration. :roll:

Xenon wrote:When a bike comes past at speed with no warning I always get a shock. My muscles jump around my ribs and I feel adrenaline.


We feel adrenalin too when a pedestrian does something unpredictable and even at the 10km/h speed, we've got to take evasive action to avoid a collision. This is most frequently from the iMeanderers with their white things shoved in their ears - they can't hear you coming. But you can hear their music however, as can the rest of the world from three or four metres away. :roll: How can they possibly stand having the volume that loud?
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Re: To Ding or not to Ding

Postby il padrone » Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:51 am

g-boaf wrote:The law needs to catch up with the iGeneration. :roll:

The law, in every state, is simply that you must have a bell (well, warning device* really) fitted to your bike. Nothing at all about using it, that is a matter for your judgement.


* Despite the claims of some riders, I don't think any court in the land would class your voice as a "device". :idea:
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Re: To Ding or not to Ding

Postby find_bruce » Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:56 am

Technically arkle most of what you quote as "rules" are merely suggestions, albeit from government websites

While bikes are legally required to have a bell fitted, there is no legal requirement to use it, ever.
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Re: To Ding or not to Ding

Postby g-boaf » Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:57 am

Il Padrone: I don't understand that reply and don't see the correlation between having a bell fitted to your bike, and pedestrians using iPods (which is what that quote references). :roll:

Simply put, pedestrians using iPods are often a danger to themselves. I've seen heaps of them walk out in front of a car, or turn in front of bicycles, etc. They just don't know what is happening around them. I'm not against using a bell, or having one on a bike, but I'm for the law preventing pedestrians from using iPods or other music players while they are walking about. For the sake of car drivers, other pedestrians and cyclists too.
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Re: To Ding or not to Ding

Postby il padrone » Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:06 am

g-boaf wrote:Il Padrone: I don't understand that reply and don't see the correlation between having a bell fitted to your bike, and pedestrians using iPods. :roll:

I was replying to your comment

g-boaf wrote:Seriously - what's the point of a bell if they can't hear it?


A bell is a legal requirement is the point. All I was saying. It is your choice when to use it. Certainly pedestrians with Ipods in their ears may be a problem. I usually don't bother too much about ringing it for them, I also don't ring my bell at the guy in the Mazda with the 'duff-duff' pumping :wink:

g-boaf wrote:I'm for the law preventing pedestrians from using iPods or other music players while they are walking about.

Walking about? In the house? In the shopping centre? Across the park?

Never going to happen. Consistency would demand that the guy with the "duff-duff", and most drivers' car-radios, would be deemed illegal. :wink: Not to mention your Ipod when riding, even turned down or one ear only.
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Re: To Ding or not to Ding

Postby arkle » Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:50 am

find_bruce wrote:Technically arkle most of what you quote as "rules" are merely suggestions, albeit from government websites

While bikes are legally required to have a bell fitted, there is no legal requirement to use it, ever.


This being said, it's interesting that every state government recommends exactly the same actions (ringing a bell from 30 metres back - this is 5.4 seconds at 20 kmph, slowing down, giving way). Why do so many cyclists refuse to adhere to the national government laws (you must have a working bell) and behaviour recommendations designed to promote co-operation and safety?

arkle

PS also from the VICRoads webpage

"If you are listening to an MP3 player make sure you can still hear others, as bike riders may use a bell or their voice to warn when overtaking."
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Re: To Ding or not to Ding

Postby Howzat » Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:21 am

g-boaf wrote:I'm for the law preventing pedestrians from using iPods or other music players while they are walking about.

I understand the sentiment, but we don't really want the police out ticketing people for walking down the street listening to ipods.
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Re: To Ding or not to Ding

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:29 am

Howzat wrote:
g-boaf wrote:I'm for the law preventing pedestrians from using iPods or other music players while they are walking about.

I understand the sentiment, but we don't really want the police out ticketing people for walking down the street listening to ipods.

Not gonna happen until some genius works out a way of automating the process then all of a sudden iPeds will be "the main source of pedestrian and cyclist trauma" on our roads and paths[/cynic]
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Re: To Ding or not to Ding

Postby find_bruce » Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:38 am

arkle wrote:
find_bruce wrote:Technically arkle most of what you quote as "rules" are merely suggestions, albeit from government websites

While bikes are legally required to have a bell fitted, there is no legal requirement to use it, ever.


This being said, it's interesting that every state government recommends exactly the same actions (ringing a bell from 30 metres back - this is 5.4 seconds at 20 kmph, slowing down, giving way). Why do so many cyclists refuse to adhere to the national government laws (you must have a working bell) and behaviour recommendations designed to promote co-operation and safety?

arkle

PS also from the VICRoads webpage

"If you are listening to an MP3 player make sure you can still hear others, as bike riders may use a bell or their voice to warn when overtaking."

Your obligation as a cyclist on a shared path is to give way to all pedestriatans - this means you must slow down & if necessary stop to avoid a collision.

Pedestrians include deaf pedestrians who will never hear your bell no matter how often you ding it.

On a small part of my commute (pyrmont bridge) I would pass more than two hundred pedestrians - it would be ridiculous to suggest that every cyclist should ding them all.

I couldn't put it better than these quotes from another thread
high_tea wrote:... 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.
high_tea wrote:Ringing a bell is neither necessary nor sufficient to ensure safe riding. HTH. HAND.
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Re: To Ding or not to Ding

Postby il padrone » Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:44 am

While I would agree with almost all of the above, it is the case that the solo rider, just coasting along, is a good deal more likely to spook a walker(s) walking along a quiet shared path. And they do not like this.

I've seen it..... done it. Why I now prefer to have a bell fitted.
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