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Old 19.04.2011, 16:24
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Re: Zurich Bike Bell Etiquette

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That's what I've found as well when I've been cycling. A bell just creates chaos.

I have considered tying a cow bell to the handle bars but the loud ones are really heavy and cause you to steer all over the place.
I only don't ring if it's just one person, or two people very close together, walking in a straight line. If there are children or pets, or a group of people, I ring the bell.

I don't like cycle lanes on pavements anyway (don't think Basel has any; but I use the ones going into St Louis, France) as I prefer to be on the road as I can usually go faster.
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Old 19.04.2011, 16:26
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Re: Zurich Bike Bell Etiquette

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The problem with clearing a way through foot traffic and sometimes cyclists also occurs while out running as well...where I don't tend to carry a bell ...But like being on a bike when approaching people from behind who have ear phones on and getting thier attention can be problematic..

Also I have noticed that people out walking tend not to walk in a 'more or less' straight line..so making a quick pass through a gap is sometimes tricky as they will suddenly change direction (for what seems like no apparent reason) and cut you up...

and if for whatever reason you do startle them, depending on which side they turned to notice the biker, sometimes, they jump into the side you wish to pass on--then starts the 'duel' when both parties constantly move to the same side.
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Old 19.04.2011, 16:45
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Re: Zurich Bike Bell Etiquette

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I only don't ring if it's just one person, or two people very close together, walking in a straight line. If there are children or pets, or a group of people, I ring the bell.

I don't like cycle lanes on pavements anyway (don't think Basel has any; but I use the ones going into St Louis, France) as I prefer to be on the road as I can usually go faster.
Agreed. I've been giving a "hello" ding from a decent distance unless the situation seems predictable, which, of course, is completely unscientific. But the pedestrians' varied responses to the bell got me wondering what exactly it means here... In Boston we just yelled at each other.
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Old 19.04.2011, 21:27
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Re: Zurich Bike Bell Etiquette

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In Boston we just yelled at each other.
Same in California. It was a (usually) friendly shout of "on your left!".
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Old 20.04.2011, 08:30
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Re: Zurich Bike Bell Etiquette

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Same in California. It was a (usually) friendly shout of "on your left!".
Genau! "On your left" is much more helpful than an ambiguous ding.
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Old 20.04.2011, 08:51
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Re: Zurich Bike Bell Etiquette

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Genau! "On your left" is much more helpful than an ambiguous ding.
Until I get run over trying to remember which one is left again.
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Old 20.04.2011, 09:00
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Re: Zurich Bike Bell Etiquette

I give a small 'ding' from a distance if there's room for me to go round people so that they're aware...otherwise I do find people scatter and can jump in front of your bike because they get scared by the bell....If there's not much room for me to go round them, I slow down and slip past before they get a chance to wonder what's happening and get in the way.

If I've pinged and I can't get past and they're still not moving I have another big bell that makes a loud, long 'brrringdingalingalinga' noise - normally does the trick....
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Old 20.04.2011, 10:35
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Re: Zurich Bike Bell Etiquette

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That's what I've found as well when I've been cycling. A bell just creates chaos.

I have considered tying a cow bell to the handle bars but the loud ones are really heavy and cause you to steer all over the place.
In my experience in Germany a bell meant "%$%& off," and was often accompanied with a scowl.

Therefore I hate using the bell because it makes me feel I should be angrier than I am. I do throw an occasional "an der linken Seite" if a pedestrian is taking up too much real estate. Though this morning a pedestrian (drunk?) was weaving left and right in the bike lane, and I just past by..perhaps startling him...perhaps.
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Old 20.04.2011, 10:44
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Re: Zurich Bike Bell Etiquette

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I give a small 'ding' from a distance if there's room for me to go round people so that they're aware...otherwise I do find people scatter and can jump in front of your bike because they get scared by the bell....If there's not much room for me to go round them, I slow down and slip past before they get a chance to wonder what's happening and get in the way.

If I've pinged and I can't get past and they're still not moving I have another big bell that makes a loud, long 'brrringdingalingalinga' noise - normally does the trick....
I usually give a little 'ding' too but I rather fancy the three tone horn of the post cars instead of your 'brrringdingalingalinga' back-up bell.
You know the type - dee, daa, doo
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Old 20.04.2011, 10:50
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Re: Zurich Bike Bell Etiquette

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I usually give a little 'ding' too but I rather fancy the three tone horn of the post cars instead of your 'brrringdingalingalinga' back-up bell.
You know the type - dee, daa, doo
Now that would be useful!
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