A local councillor, who receives the Adelaide BUG newsletter, asked a question.

I have had a query about shared use paths from a cyclist.
He thinks pedestrians move out of his way better when he rings his bell on coming up behind them if there is a central line marking as on the Marion part of the Coast Park, whereas Holdfast Bay generally does not mark the centre of the path. The cyclist presumes that, seeing the centre line, people can orient themselves more easily and move more quickly out of his way.
Do you, BUG or any other cyclists you know have any opinion on the merits of marking the centre of a shared use path?

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As I said back on page 1, there's a bit of an art to bell ringing - you need to be far enough back to not spook them, but not so far that they don't hear. Your "ringing but from way back" sounds about right.

I bought an AirZound before the price became reasonable. The handlebar clamp broke. By the time I found a replacement clamp, the tubes had deteriorated. In the meantime I had learnt to shout.

On my bike handlebars, I was unable to manoeuvre the AirZound fitting so that I could depress the button, while keeping both hands on the handlebars. Might get round that if the brake and gear levers are not in the common combined unit. When I was in a real emergency, too busy steering and braking to sound the horn.

Easy to operate when a simple prob like a vehicle stopped in a bike lane. Then the AirZound could make the driver jump.

Yes, I ran out of real estate on the cockpit and everytime I went to use it, it was low on air pressure.

Agreed, in an emergency, there are a lot of other priorities.


Aah, yes, I bought one of them once but decided not to fit it, not much use if you're trying to be polite.

Another trick is to mount two bells of different pitch, one for each thumb. The two notes sounded close together can make like a bunch of bikes and do help to get the attention of vague pedestrians. No-one has sworn at me for using two bells so it seems to be a useful strategy.

I've got a Hornit. 2 x AAA batteries and the trigger can be mounted anywhere. Very loud. I save it for cars and avoid using it on pedestrians (except that time I escorted 2 Indypac riders along linear park), so I've got a bell and my voice too.

Only downside has been lately the batteries go flat very quickly, I suspect that's the boys in the warehouse playing with it though.

I remember reading an elderly bloke telling us that a ting-a-ling bell is much easier to hear than a single ding.  So we only use ting-a-ling bells.  They also sound more friendly.

As a returning cyclist after decades of not riding a bike I am quite amazed how many cyclists that I see don't have a bell. They are often the same ones that are speeding along the shared paths and don't seem to even consider that the pedestrian might step right into their path just as they are passing. Or if they do have one don't use it. The same goes for approaching slower cyclists, I must admit I have had no issues with drivers in the CBD who have been courteous, my only near hits have involved fast moving cyclists who are travelling at dangerous speeds on shared paths, they are obviously oblivious to the danger or just don't care. As for ring your bell when approaching a pedestrian it is the right thing to do, and if you are travelling at a safe speed you should be able to stop or slow down before you get to them. If not perhaps you are going too fast.   

One of the really annoying problems on shared paths is people and bike riders stopping to have a conversation in the middle of the path when it's just as easy to get off the path. The other problem is dogs, there are so many dogs running "wild", either on or off their leads, I've seen people with 2, 3 and 4 dogs all going in different directions.    There's no place for dogs on a pedestrian/cycling path.   

Pete, I am not a dog owner but accept that some people are besotted with their pets. So I accept people walking on shared paths with their trained dogs on leads. However, I also understand your comment, because I have encountered inconsiderate people with poorly trained dogs.

But is it really that common? I think it goes with the territory of sharing a public space. I am reminded of drivers complaining about being stuck behind cyclists, when in reality it is a very small percentage of the time they are held up.

If I was to estimate the things that hold me up on my rides, it would be something like:

dogs: < 0.5 %

pedestrians: 0.5%

slower cyclists: 1%

ducks and water fowl: 2%

rowing crews putting their boats away: 3%

waiting for cars or trains at traffic lights or other intersections: over 90%

Peter, I was thinking of safety rather than any delay.
An example of riding through a park with shared path.
A person standing to the right of a shared path (not on it) and next to a sign that states dogs must be on leads.
I riding on the left of the path and some metres away from the pedestrian.
The person throws a ball at my front wheel.
I trying to avoid the dog (not on a lead) which now wants to run into my wheel.
If the person does not care about cyclists, they might consider the safety of their dog.


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