I’d Like to Know: Why? #5 Cyclists

Picture via Pixabay.com

This is the fifth in an occasional series of posts asking sometimes awkward questions. Some topics are trivial, some serious, and others vital. I’d love you to join in any ensuing debate using the comments at the foot of the posts. Enjoy!

Why Don’t Cyclists Use Bells Anymore?

Okay, this is trivial. But what’s the problem? A bike’s a pretty silent mode of transport; it can creep up on a pedestrian without warning. It only takes the one on foot to change direction for the cyclist to become a danger on a footpath. I’ve no issue with cyclists using footpaths and forest tracks for their rides, but why must they dispense with the simple warning device that protects both them and those on foot from accidents? It seems such a simple thing: put a bell on the bike (it weighs and costs almost nothing), use it to warn people on foot of your presence, and save us all the anxiety.


So why not do it, eh?

4 thoughts on “I’d Like to Know: Why? #5 Cyclists

  1. Stuart, it’s been my observation that a lot of the newer racing bikes (or what now go by the name of ‘road bikes’) don’t come with anything that could add even the most infinitesimaly small amount of extra weight to the frame of the bike – such as a bell or even a collapsible stand. Gone as well also are the ‘ol levers to operate gears. It’s all to the end of making the bike more streamlined and therefore faster and therefore more ‘awesome’.

    To be candid, I think a number of these type of serious cyclists consider themselves too cool to use a bell anyway and would rather just cut a dashing figure in their mirror, wrap-around sunnies and lyrcra, circus-inspired vests, than lower themselves to having to communicate in anyway with the ‘civvies’ who also use the walk/cycle paths.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jurriaan Wittenberg

    To stay fit I do some (medium distance) running. Here in The Netherlands it is pretty common to run on the cycle tracks because they’re composed of a flatter concrete compared to the tiled padestrian paths. Some of these tiles can be very crooked and cause danger to your legs while running. So we run on left side of the the cycle tracks usually running towards incoming bikes and small motor cycles.

    Every now and then though there’s reason to stay to the right and have the incoming traffic come from behind. It indeed baffles me how little people take you into consideration anymore. Racing bikes that whoosh passed you at cm’s distance startling you into an adrenaline high. Not pinging their mandatory bell. I really don’t get that either. It’s not that we’re cramped for space on that track, it’s usually about 3-4m wide.

    So yes, I concur with Stuart. WHY? Why are the cyclists not using their early warning system anymore? I know I would!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s tempting to believe that lack of consideration is a modern phenomenon, isnt it? But I wonder if the truth is that there are just a lot more people about now than before!


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