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The No Bell Bicyclists

By 27 December 2012 189

An encounter today on the shared footpath/bicycle caused a bicyclist who had no bell. We did not hear him coming from behind. I asked him where his bell was. He said he didn’t need one as it didn’t fit on his bars.

Well here is what you need under the ACT Road Rules:

258 Equipment on a bicycle

A person must not ride a bicycle that does not have:

(a) at least 1 effective brake; and

(b) a bell, horn, or similar warning device, in working order.

Offence provision.

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189 Responses to The No Bell Bicyclists
#91
Ryoma1:55 pm, 09 Jan 13

Jivrashia said :

Ryoma said :

When we visit Japan, Mrs Ryoma

Sakamoto, is that you?

Hai, so daio :P . But shh, you’ll blow my cover….

#92
G-Fresh2:59 pm, 09 Jan 13
#93
Visitor01Q7:13 am, 12 Feb 13

I had the misfortune to have a run in with one of these no bell tossers yesterday crossing Commonwealth Avenue bridge. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have eyes in the back of my head so if these tossers don’t let us know they are coming, exactly how do we make sure there is enough room for them to pass? That aside, my daughter is 8 years old, she has no concept of rude, arrogant arsewipes that think its ok to stop and verbally abuse an 8 year old for getting in their way without any warning that they are coming. Grow up people, you are sharing the space, learn some god damn manners and give people some simple common courtesy.

#94
Postalgeek9:18 am, 12 Feb 13

Visitor01Q said :

I had the misfortune to have a run in with one of these no bell tossers yesterday crossing Commonwealth Avenue bridge.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have eyes in the back of my head so if these tossers don’t let us know they are coming, exactly how do we make sure there is enough room for them to pass?

Well, for a start a courteous pedestrian stays to the left to allow faster users to pass safely, and demonstrates situational awareness and responsible parenting by ensuring that their child is safe and sticks left as well.

And a courteous rider will announce their approach.

#95
Pitchka10:22 am, 12 Feb 13

Was waiting at the intersection of Dairy Flat Rd yesterday and a cyclist rode up to the car in front of me (1st in line at the lights), a Mazda 6. Cyclist stopped to the right of the M6 and proceeded to grab hold of the side mirror, it broke, and he fell.

Funny thing is he then rode of through a red light thinking he would make a great escape… M6 promplty ran the red light and drove in front of cyclist to cut him off, i cant comment on what happened after that, light was green and i had driven off.

#96
Pitchka10:27 am, 12 Feb 13

Paths and bridges generally have lanes painted on them, so if you are a cyclist, and are approaching pedestrians, ring your bell and go around them (similar concept to overtaking if in a vehicle)..

However, if you are approaching pedestrians, and there are also other pedestrians/cyclist approaching in the opposite direction, please realise that its not up to pedestrians to stop what they are doing, move over as far to the left as humanly possible, just so they you can get through… Slow the f**k down, wait till it is clear, then proceed to pass (again, similar concept to driving a vehicle and overtaking to the right)..

#97
bundah10:29 am, 12 Feb 13

Pitchka said :

Was waiting at the intersection of Dairy Flat Rd yesterday and a cyclist rode up to the car in front of me (1st in line at the lights), a Mazda 6. Cyclist stopped to the right of the M6 and proceeded to grab hold of the side mirror, it broke, and he fell.

Funny thing is he then rode of through a red light thinking he would make a great escape… M6 promplty ran the red light and drove in front of cyclist to cut him off, i cant comment on what happened after that, light was green and i had driven off.

Of course a gentleman would’ve got up and apologised then given an undertaking to pay for the damage.

#98
460cixy10:33 am, 12 Feb 13

Hopefully got a good tune up! I have seen a similar thing here in Woden when a wanker on a pushy pulled up and put his hand on the boot lid of the car infront of me. Old mate moves forward and said wanker falls over with his feet stuck to the pedals in the middle of the road

#99
KB197110:55 am, 12 Feb 13

Pitchka said :

Paths and bridges generally have lanes painted on them, so if you are a cyclist, and are approaching pedestrians, ring your bell and go around them (similar concept to overtaking if in a vehicle)..

However, if you are approaching pedestrians, and there are also other pedestrians/cyclist approaching in the opposite direction, please realise that its not up to pedestrians to stop what they are doing, move over as far to the left as humanly possible, just so they you can get through… Slow the f**k down, wait till it is clear, then proceed to pass (again, similar concept to driving a vehicle and overtaking to the right)..

I agree with your sentiment on passing but Canberrans are not taught to pass on 2 lane roads like country folk and they have no idea how to do it, especially in their car. We see it time and time again on the Kings & Monaro Highways.

Re the bridges & Visitors experience, Commonwealth Av bike path is quite narrow compared to the other paths and is quite noisy. I regularly come across walkers who, when I call or ring a bell depending on the bike I am on, either have headphones on, ignore you, distracted by the view/chatting to their friends or just cannot plain hear you.

Yep the rider probably need to take a chill pill but I bet Visitor was not really watching what they were doing either. It takes two to tango.

Re the resting on car thing, DON’T DO IT PEOPLE! Its not your car, have some respect.

#100
thebrownstreak6911:11 am, 12 Feb 13

If a cyclist leant on my car I’d ask them not to. If they refused, I’d move their hand myself.

#101
Hosinator11:33 am, 12 Feb 13

thebrownstreak69 said :

If a cyclist leant on my car I’d ask them not to. If they refused, I’d move their hand myself.

As a cyclist I think this is an extremely rude practice by other cyclists. If I was in my car and a cyclist leant on my car, I’d tell them to f%$k off.
I agree with other comments here that cyclists coming up to pedestrians do need to be cautious and sound their bell, or slow down and let pedestrians/cyclists pass where appropriate.

However, the respect needs to be two way. On a number of occasions whilst cycling on a shared path I have had pedestrians step onto my side of the path with now warning, expecting me to ride off the shared path because there is a low hanging tree branch on their side of the shared path. Rather than stopping and waiting for me to pass and then going around, they think I can simply jump off the path onto grass/dirt/rocks/tree branches. As those religious zealots say, do unto others as you would have them do to you.

#102
m@12:57 pm, 12 Feb 13

bikhet said :

How Canberran!

Oh, do please shut up!

#103
Visitor01Q1:06 pm, 12 Feb 13

A courteous respondent wouldn’t make assumptions about my location. We, the walkers, were
Most definitely on the left hand side, the twat simply wanted more room and any reasonable thinking adult would understand that children do tend to wobble. Additionally, any auggestion that i should look backwards while walking is simply ludicroud. lThanks for your snide comment, you have convinced me to start working at getting the government to police the bike laws and the nca to set speed limits for bikes.

#104
thebrownstreak691:23 pm, 12 Feb 13

Hosinator said :

thebrownstreak69 said :

If a cyclist leant on my car I’d ask them not to. If they refused, I’d move their hand myself.

As a cyclist I think this is an extremely rude practice by other cyclists. If I was in my car and a cyclist leant on my car, I’d tell them to f%$k off.
I agree with other comments here that cyclists coming up to pedestrians do need to be cautious and sound their bell, or slow down and let pedestrians/cyclists pass where appropriate.

However, the respect needs to be two way. On a number of occasions whilst cycling on a shared path I have had pedestrians step onto my side of the path with now warning, expecting me to ride off the shared path because there is a low hanging tree branch on their side of the shared path.

Rather than stopping and waiting for me to pass and then going around, they think I can simply jump off the path onto grass/dirt/rocks/tree branches. As those religious zealots say, do unto others as you would have them do to you.

Seems like a pretty fair position to take.

#105
carnardly1:26 pm, 12 Feb 13

Postalgeek said :

[, exactly how do we make sure there is enough room for them to pass?

There are signs at either end of CW bridge indicating to stay left. That’s a start.

#106
KB19711:43 pm, 12 Feb 13

Visitor01Q said :

A courteous respondent wouldn’t make assumptions about my location.

We, the walkers, were
Most definitely on the left hand side, the twat simply wanted more room and any reasonable thinking adult would understand that children do tend to wobble.

Additionally, any auggestion that i should look backwards while walking is simply ludicroud.

lThanks for your snide comment, you have convinced me to start working at getting the government to police the bike laws and the nca to set speed limits for bikes.

Bring it on, as long as you include all pedestrians in your crusade ;)

Another rider an I were stopped on either side of the Beazley St intersection near Mawson Shops last week. No less than 10 people walked against the red light (on that occasion, happens every day).

I said to him ” & us bike riders are arseholes when we run the red lights”……….He agreed at the hypocracy.

Think about that.

#107
dpm1:54 pm, 12 Feb 13

Visitor01Q said :

A courteous respondent wouldn’t make assumptions about my location.

We, the walkers, were
Most definitely on the left hand side, the twat simply wanted more room and any reasonable thinking adult would understand that children do tend to wobble.

Additionally, any auggestion that i should look backwards while walking is simply ludicroud.

lThanks for your snide comment, you have convinced me to start working at getting the government to police the bike laws and the nca to set speed limits for bikes.

The day of the week must end with a ‘y’ as there is another +/- bike discussion on RA! Can JB just randomly copy 100 posts from the last bike discussion into this one and close it? C’mon, surely that would save everyone (incl JB!) some time? :-)

#108
Postalgeek3:18 pm, 12 Feb 13

Visitor01Q said :

A courteous respondent wouldn’t make assumptions about my location.

We, the walkers, were
Most definitely on the left hand side, the twat simply wanted more room and any reasonable thinking adult would understand that children do tend to wobble.

Additionally, any auggestion that i should look backwards while walking is simply ludicroud.

Thanks for your snide comment, you have convinced me to start working at getting the government to police the bike laws and the nca to set speed limits for bikes.

Yeah, knock yourself out with the policing thing.

You asked “how do we make sure there is enough room for them to pass? “. There’s enough room for parties to pass on Commonwealth Bridge unless someone is using up more than half the path or two parties create a pinch point for a third.

I commented that that pedestrians and cyclists need to behave courteously. If you were being courteous, then it doesn’t apply to you, does it? If the bike was discourteous, a pox on him.

As for looking backwards, if you think that is ludicrous, that’s your call. I do it all the time when my kid is on a bike on a shared path.

#109
Ezy3:48 pm, 12 Feb 13

Visitor01Q said :

you have convinced me to start working at getting the government to police the bike laws and the nca to set speed limits for bikes.

Yup – take the police focus off things like drug related crime and get them on the bike paths to dish out petty fines! Good going.

I haven’t read every post in here, but all it is is people being so precious. All over the world in under developed countries and major cities – cyclists, vehicles and pedestrians co exist without this bullshit that keeps coming up on RiotAct. So much hate on cyclists for no reason at all.

In the morning on my 30km commute to work on roads, firetrail and bike paths , I give a polite ‘morning’ when approaching pedestrians. It lets them know that there is someone approaching and that I am being polite. I also have a bell which I use… I give it a nice single ‘ding’ when I am approaching walkers. But 80% of the time – the walkers have headphones in or are on the mobile phone.

Vehicles / Cyclists and Pedestrians coexist. It’s not that hard people!

#110
tim_c4:01 pm, 12 Feb 13

Do you sound your car horn before attempting to overtake anyone while you’re driving?
Most pedestrians have worked out that it’s not too difficult to SHARE the cycleways and if they don’t take up the whole width (though some obviously can’t help it), cyclists can still pass without even needing to ring a bell.

#111
thebrownstreak694:06 pm, 12 Feb 13

I’M A CYCLIST! OUT OF MY WAY!

#112
Visitor01Q4:27 pm, 12 Feb 13

Ezy said :

Visitor01Q said :

you have convinced me to start working at getting the government to police the bike laws and the nca to set speed limits for bikes.

Yup – take the police focus off things like drug related crime and get them on the bike paths to dish out petty fines! Good going.

The authorities choose what is and isn’t valid to pursue. Quite frankly if we have tossers out there that think that a child, who inadvertently swerves in front of someone who hasn’t bothered to identify that they are there is worthy of abuse and that believe that only those on foot have to show any common courtesy at all then that shows that we clearly have an issue that needs to be policed (and when I say policed, I don’t necessarily mean by the police force, in this instance the rangers may well be more appropriate).

Additionally, I don’t believe that all the space around the parliamentary triangle constitutes “shared space” and if the space is not “shared” then bikes need to give way to pedestrians at all times when on footpaths.

All this angst because a few arrogant tossers think the world belongs to them. Interesting really as we could all get along if we all showed a little common courtesy.

Visitor01Q said :

I haven’t read every post in here, but all it is is people being so precious. All over the world in under developed countries and major cities – cyclists, vehicles and pedestrians co exist without this bullshit that keeps coming up on RiotAct. So much hate on cyclists for no reason at all.

Then take the time to read the comments, because quite frankly the majority of hate here is the selfish bike riders who think they own the footpath. The voice of reason (ie, the cyclists that show courtesy) is drowned out by the tossers, and there are plenty of decent cyclists out there. Today while walking the lake I noted 2 (out of at least 50) cyclists who warned of their approach, that’s 96% who didn’t bother. Apparently, according to some intellectual giants we need to walk continually circling to make sure we know what’s behind us and in front of us .. the most ludicrous example of selfishness that i’ve heard in a while.

Visitor01Q said :

In the morning on my 30km commute to work on roads, firetrail and bike paths , I give a polite ‘morning’ when approaching pedestrians. It lets them know that there is someone approaching and that I am being polite. I also have a bell which I use… I give it a nice single ‘ding’ when I am approaching walkers. But 80% of the time – the walkers have headphones in or are on the mobile phone.

80%? I walked around the lake today and 2 joggers had headphones, all walkers had a ‘morning’ or ‘hello’ as they walked past us. Not a single cyclist acknoweldged our existence other than the 2 who rang their bells even though we said “thank you” as they cycled past. We did however get more rudeness from the guy from yesterday and if I see him tomorrow I will stop him and have a harsher word to him.

Visitor01Q said :

Vehicles / Cyclists and Pedestrians coexist. It’s not that hard people!

I agree. As pedestrians we need to leave 1/2 the space for the bikes, as for the bikes, ring your damn bell, yell “bike” of whatever you’re comfortable with but do it, and respect the fact that sometimes children are unpredictable and no one (NO ONE) has a right to abuse children. For that alone, this tosser is lucky we didn’t report him to the police as the people at TAMS and the NCA suggested.

#113
Visitor01Q4:29 pm, 12 Feb 13

carnardly said :

Postalgeek said :

[, exactly how do we make sure there is enough room for them to pass?

There are signs at either end of CW bridge indicating to stay left.

That’s a start.

I apply the rule of halves. I make sure that when we walk, we never take more than 1/2 the allocated space. That leaves more than enough room for a bike to go past. Except that little flat bike (the guy who abused us), he apparently expects more room and for us to magically know he’s there and give it to him. I personally think he’d have more success if he rang his bell, we’d look behind and see him and move over.

#114
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd4:42 pm, 12 Feb 13

Visitor01Q said :

Ezy said :

Visitor01Q said :

you have convinced me to start working at getting the government to police the bike laws and the nca to set speed limits for bikes.

As pedestrians we need to leave 1/2 the space for the bikes, as for the bikes, ring your damn bell, yell “bike” of whatever you’re comfortable with but do it, and respect the fact that sometimes children are unpredictable and no one (NO ONE) has a right to abuse children.

For that alone, this tosser is lucky we didn’t report him to the police as the people at TAMS and the NCA suggested.

To be honest, i would have done far more than that if anyone ever did anything liek that around my kids.

If you see a child, dog or old person slow the hell down, it really is that basic. Be the got ham adult instead of the big baby.

#115
GardeningGirl5:12 pm, 12 Feb 13

tim_c said :

Do you sound your car horn before attempting to overtake anyone while you’re driving?
Most pedestrians have worked out that it’s not too difficult to SHARE the cycleways and if they don’t take up the whole width (though some obviously can’t help it), cyclists can still pass without even needing to ring a bell.

Not the same. Vehicle overtaking vehicle has marked separate lanes and the overtakee has mirrors to help awareness of traffic coming from behind. Bike overtaking pedestrian is a more vague manoeuvre and I can tell you it can be more like being swooped by a magpie when the first you know of a fast moving cyclist’s presence is the whoosh just behind your shoulder.

I don’t know why everyone can’t share. If I’m walking with someone and having a conversation I prefer to do it side by side rather than shouting at each other single file, but if I hear a bell or friendly shout I’m happy to move over. What is so hard about that, for cyclists or pedestrians, really?????

#116
gungsuperstar5:21 pm, 12 Feb 13

I’m a fairly new cyclist who has been on a campaign to educate far more experienced riders on the road about the need for a bell. Some of the ideas I hear are preposterous, including the suggestion that pedestrians don’t recognise the sound, or they take offence to the sound (as opposed to someone yelling at them).

Tell me, is there a single person out there for whom this is true? Does anyone know anyone who doesn’t recognise a bike bell sound, or who is offended by it? The reason I’m on this crusade is for instances exactly like many mentioned in these comments – the actions of a couple of rogues cause you to loathe all cyclists, including cyclists like me who “ding” you and slow right down to go past you.

#117
GardeningGirl6:51 pm, 12 Feb 13

OpenYourMind said :

From what I’ve seen, the people that bitch about lack of warning are usually the ones meandering all over the path. If you keep left, keep your dog on a leash to your left and keep your kids closely monitored and to the left (and yes, I have kids) then it shouldn’t matter to you whether a cyclist uses a bell or not. By the same token, it’s a responsibility of us cyclists to warn other path users of our approach and slow down if there’s a potential danger ahead such as kids/pets/horses.

I can picture from behind Mr Garden and me would be a meandering obstruction when walking together but how hard is it to do us the courtesy of giving us the opportunity to move over, which we are happy to do? Even when I’m alone and keeping left how hard is it to do me the courtesy of warning of your approach before you whoosh past like a swooping magpie? How hard is it all????? We keep having these threads. :-(
Oh forget it! I’ll be the weird chick wearing the homemade contraption on my head with rear view mirrors and a heads up display of a radar sweep of my perimeter. :-)

#118
GardeningGirl7:16 pm, 12 Feb 13

gungsuperstar said :

I’m a fairly new cyclist who has been on a campaign to educate far more experienced riders on the road about the need for a bell. Some of the ideas I hear are preposterous, including the suggestion that pedestrians don’t recognise the sound, or they take offence to the sound (as opposed to someone yelling at them).

Tell me, is there a single person out there for whom this is true? Does anyone know anyone who doesn’t recognise a bike bell sound, or who is offended by it? The reason I’m on this crusade is for instances exactly like many mentioned in these comments – the actions of a couple of rogues cause you to loathe all cyclists, including cyclists like me who “ding” you and slow right down to go past you.

I’ve heard opinions about what is easier to hear and to locate directionwise. Once or twice I’ve looked for a bike because of a bike bell type sound and it was something else. Perhaps voice works better, but I’m not sure? I just appreciate the effort to do any warning whether it is bell or voice. I appreciate cyclists slowing down but if I am given enough time and space to move right over I don’t mind the cyclist going fast, for all I know they might have their reasons for maintaining a consistent fast pace. If it’s a voice warning I keep an open mind to the possibility that it sounds gruffer than intended due to the physical exertion. I keep or move to the left. If the source is unclear I try to look around and identify the source without making any sudden or unpredictable changes in my position or direction. Anyway, that’s me, hope I’ve explained myself clearly. Thank you for caring about the matter. I don’t loathe all cyclists at all but it’s true to say I have developed a wariness. I hope you enjoy your cycling. I did many years ago, many many years ago, it was a fun way to get around and good for fitness.

#119
Visitor01Q8:08 pm, 12 Feb 13

gungsuperstar said :

Tell me, is there a single person out there for whom this is true? Does anyone know anyone who doesn’t recognise a bike bell sound, or who is offended by it? The reason I’m on this crusade is for instances exactly like many mentioned in these comments – the actions of a couple of rogues cause you to loathe all cyclists, including cyclists like me who “ding” you and slow right down to go past you.

I am not concerned about the bell, or the “bike” or “bike on the right”, as long as I have enough notice I will make sure that i’m on the left and they can go on the right. I don’t get why it’s not feasible to warn pedestrians, and quite frankly all i’m seeing is excuses, not justifications.

#120
wildturkeycanoe8:27 pm, 12 Feb 13

I rang my bell as I approached from behind a parent and her children. I regret doing so now after the look of horror and panicked scrambling to get off the path and onto the grass. I felt like a twit, even though I was already on the grass overtaking them prior to ringing.
I won’t be ringin’ it ever again if I cause such trauma to the person who is at no risk of being injured in the first place.
I’m glad they veered left to, or it could have been worse….
Next headline – “Bike bell causes multiple injuries, cyclists asked to warn pedestrians that they are about to ring their bell”.

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