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27-02-2019, 11:22   #1
schemingbohemia
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Bell Etiquette

So was cycling along Parnell Road beside the Grand Canal the other morning. Lots of slow moving vehicular traffic, I wasn't going at any great pace when I come to a slower moving cyclist ahead of me, no chance to get past so take my time behind her.
A couple of other cyclists thought they had room and overtook both me and her. I waited until there was a bit more space and then tinkled my bell to let her know I was coming and overtook her - she says as I overtake - "Ding Ding yourself" - is it wrong to use your bell to let someone know you're overtaking?
I wasn't using it as a "get out of my way" just to let her know that I was overtaking as with all the drains there she might have veered to the right as I was doing so.
So should I shout instead, say nothing or continue to tinkle my bell and not worry about reactions?
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27-02-2019, 12:51   #2
Macy0161
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I use my bell for the same reason - to let people I'm overtaking know I am there (in the context of other cyclists). I used to just say "on your right" or "coming through on your right" but according to a previous thread on here apparently that was wrong too...

I think some people just want to be offended, but it could just be she was getting stressed with the traffic and passes and was venting in general. So my opinion is carry on using your bell.
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27-02-2019, 13:01   #3
jim o doom
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I think the majority of people simply overtake. Cars don't beep at each other when they are overtaking and pedestrians don't shout or speak when overtaking other pedestrians.. why would you ring a bell at someone?

They will be aware you are overtaking them when you go past them, same as every other mode of transport. There is also no need to shout at them either. Just signal as necessary and overtake.

Look at it this way; how often do you see overtaking cyclists make any indication to the person they are overtaking? For me it is never. I'd be confused as to why someone was ringing their bell at me when they overtook.
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27-02-2019, 13:08   #4
DavyD_83
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I'd take it as equivalent of beeping a you pass somebody when driving.
Generally indicates that the person was in some way in the wrong and 'in your way'.
The response you received sounds fairly typical, especially if as you say other had already passed her, so there was obviously enough space being left etc.

What did you intend to indicate or achieve by ringing the bell?
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27-02-2019, 13:08   #5
schemingbohemia
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I'd rather people let me know they are overtaking me (where there is limited overtaking space) given the occasional need to move off my line due to potholes or drains, I don't tinkle every overtake!
To be honest the other two cyclists who overtook her went too close to her in my mind, if she had veered off course even a little bit there could have been a collision, I was simply making her aware that I was about to overtake so she should ensure she stayed straight.
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27-02-2019, 13:12   #6
greenwaving
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim o doom View Post
I think the majority of people simply overtake. Cars don't beep at each other when they are overtaking and pedestrians don't shout or speak when overtaking other pedestrians.. why would you ring a bell at someone?

They will be aware you are overtaking them when you go past them, same as every other mode of transport. There is also no need to shout at them either. Just signal as necessary and overtake.

Look at it this way; how often do you see overtaking cyclists make any indication to the person they are overtaking? For me it is never. I'd be confused as to why someone was ringing their bell at me when they overtook.
I would agree with above. I don't a bell is necessary. From your piece OP it sounds like the other cyclists overtook with too little space so maybe thats why she was annoyed by the time you were passing even if you were giving her the space required? I know it makes me feel vulnerable when other cyclists fly past skimming my handlebars - I can never understand it given how aware most cyclists are of the dangers of close passes by motor vehicles. While cyclists close passing each other doesnt carry the same level of danger as when cars do it they are still a risk for both cyclists and make the person being passed feel just as vulnerable imo
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27-02-2019, 13:12   #7
homer911
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I can see both sides to this and get annoyed when other cyclists DONT use a bell (mainly because they dont have one). I would prefer to hear a bell than not, but would like it hear it when the overtaking cyclist is at least a bike-length away. The number of times when I've been cycling along at what I think is a brisk pace and either someone tries to squeeze by me unannounced, or they suddenly do a loud ring on a bell when they are already up by bum..

Despite that, its better than veering right to avoid a pothole just as I'm being overtaken..
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27-02-2019, 13:25   #8
tommythecat
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Originally Posted by schemingbohemia View Post
I'd rather people let me know they are overtaking me (where there is limited overtaking space) given the occasional need to move off my line due to potholes or drains, I don't tinkle every overtake!
To be honest the other two cyclists who overtook her went too close to her in my mind, if she had veered off course even a little bit there could have been a collision, I was simply making her aware that I was about to overtake so she should ensure she stayed straight.
In fairness it isn't up to her to make your overtake easier. If she needs to avoid a pothole when you are overtaking her it's your responsibility to have left her room to do that. So saying that ringing your bell somehow puts the onus on her to "stay straight" is unreasonable in my opinion.
I wouldn't ring the bell it will just irritate people.
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27-02-2019, 13:44   #9
Wishbone Ash
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I'd find it annoying if someone rang their bell while passing me while cycling in a normal fashion.. Totally unnecessary. If space is limited why not wait until it's safer. The only time I'd consider it acceptable would be if a cyclist was weaving all over the road/cycle track.

Some motorcyclists sound their horn when overtaking cyclists but they don't do it while overtaking other motorcyclists. Don't know why.
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27-02-2019, 13:51   #10
Alanstrainor
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I don't do it generally, but when I do I would say thanks as I pass. It might make more sense to the other cyclist then. Most don't use bells, and most don't know of any etiquette, so I can see how the person got mad as a result. I've been sworn at by pedestrians in bike lanes when I ring mine, full on aggression, so I reckon most just see it as a car horn equivalent.
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27-02-2019, 13:53   #11
OleRodrigo
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Depends on the tone.

A loud BRING BRRING can come off as ' Outta my way missus '

A short DING will say ' coming up on the right '

Best not use the bell, just overtake quickly and leave her some space, with a flick of the left hand to say ' excuse me ' .

Bells are best for the smartphone pedestrian about to step out in front of you. In the absence of a bell , an inner city drug dealers whistle will catch attention (if you can perfect it - but a half assed effort is still effective )
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27-02-2019, 14:05   #12
schemingbohemia
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Ok so no agreement on etiquette, fair enough.
It was definitely a short Ding rather than a long ding just to be clear.

I had waited quite some time to overtake in what I regarded as a safe manner where I would be giving her a lot more space than the previous cyclists had.
I'm not a quick cyclist at all and where possible on that road I do keep to the left to leave as much space as I can for other cyclists to overtake me.
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27-02-2019, 14:09   #13
Macy0161
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wishbone Ash View Post
I'd find it annoying if someone rang their bell while passing me while cycling in a normal fashion.. Totally unnecessary. If space is limited why not wait until it's safer. The only time I'd consider it acceptable would be if a cyclist was weaving all over the road/cycle track.
Just to clarify, I don't do it every time I overtake, it's normally if someone is weaving, or taking the centre of the lane, when a slight shift to the left would allow an overtake.
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27-02-2019, 19:44   #14
Chartsengrafs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schemingbohemia View Post
Ok so no agreement on etiquette, fair enough.
It was definitely a short Ding rather than a long ding just to be clear.

I had waited quite some time to overtake in what I regarded as a safe manner where I would be giving her a lot more space than the previous cyclists had.
I'm not a quick cyclist at all and where possible on that road I do keep to the left to leave as much space as I can for other cyclists to overtake me.
Don’t worry about how much space the previous person left, that’s irrelevant.
If you feel you could pass the slower cyclist safely, without endangering her or yourself, then there’s absolutely no need to ring a bell.
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27-02-2019, 20:17   #15
ED E
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"On your right".




Sidenote: Apologies to the cyclist at Lamb Doyles last Sunday, scared the living daylights out of him when calling him out to the club members behind.
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