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When Riding in southern california it is inevitable that you encounter multiple hikers and horse back riders every ride. Whether we think its rational or not they often FREAK out when Mr. mountain biker comes rolling up behind them claking, and bouncing. It doesnt matter if you aproach slowly and wish them a good morning as you aproach, they or the horse has a fit. I have found however that the pleasant ring of a handlebar bell almost puts them at ease. Why? beyond me. I guess it just sounds polite. But the handle bar bellhas been working far better then even the cheeriest of "Good Mornings". Perhaps we should all make the 5$ investment. Another technique to better relations with other trail users? Or my own delusion?
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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And barcodes on our arms. Little GPS chips in our bikes would help too.
 

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Elsievo
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There is a negative impression by most other trail users of mountain bikers, even in an area as remote as ours. I don't have a bell but after reading discussions such as this on other lists ([email protected], doubleforte etc.) bells seem to be the best choice as they seem to "soothe the savage beast." Most likely I will install one this coming season on our tandem and my trail bike.

I find for most of my encounters going real slow even stopping and dismounting help, dismounting particularly when animals are involved. I found that out the hard way. Merely ignoring a dog and pedaling can lead to a few stitches. When I dismount the dog is more approachable or if phydeaux is not in an approachable mood, I'm closer to the rocks I may wish to use to adjust his demeanor.
 

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a.k.a. MTBMaven
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Bear Bells

I have been using two bear bells hanging from my seat for quite sometime. They kind of look like nuts hanging from my seat. :) I like the bear bells because they work without any action on my part. They are my passive early warning system.
 

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I think bells are soothing because they remind people of gentlemenly English cyclists out for a Sunday ride on their Raleigh in their knickers, argyle socks, tweed coat, cable knit sweater, pipe and pork pie hat. Who could be upset with someone like that coming down the trail?
 

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We're not the one's with the problem, so why should we change our ways when we're doing nothing wrong. I think as long as we're respectful of other trail users, let them know we're near, and slow down or dis-mount thats being more than resonable on our part as MTB'ers. If other trail user don't like it and still have a problem then tough.
 

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Large wheels & one gear
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MTB1986 said:
We're not the one's with the problem, so why should we change our ways when we're doing nothing wrong. I think as long as we're respectful of other trail users, let them know we're near, and slow down or dis-mount thats being more than resonable on our part as MTB'ers. If other trail user don't like it and still have a problem then tough.
I agree with your statement. If we do all those things, I think we are being more than respectful. Would the people on the horses dismount for us? Or, why dont they just put a little bell duck taped to the horses ear to alert people when they approach?
Believe me, I show nothing but respect to people and animals when on the trail. I just can't figure out why we Mt Bikers need or have to jump through hoops for others on the trail. Funny thing is, I would say 90% of the time with me hikers and horse riders, have been the ones to pull over and stop before me. They probably heard me coming before I saw them so, it has always worked out good for the most part.
 

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Ride Instigator
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A noisy King hub in coasting mode works for me ;) .

In my area though, it seems that a friendly good morning or hello has no negative effect (MOST of the time) on hikers. Equestrian types need to be approached with a larger degree of caution of course and generally the horses rider will let you know if it's OK to pass.
 

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Old man on a bike
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I see horses only once in a while. But I don't believe I owe the people who take horses not suitable for multiple use trails on multiple use trails. The last ones I saw were a bit skittish and the riders didn't seem all that experienced with them; they may have been rentals or ones they visit on occasion at a stable for all I know. I don't owe them anything but simple courtesy, which I did and then some once I noticed the horses weren't comfortable around bikes...and maybe don't owe them much at all if they don't pickup their goddam sh!t off the trail...which was obvious they weren't doing. All was civil, as it should have been, but I'm not wearing a bell for them. Bears maybe.
 

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there are too many bike pros on multi use, gentle trails. idiots that go nuts if others dont get out of their way. idiots that use heavily populated trails for their tour de ego.

horse riders can be as bad, imo, especially snooty pricks that think being lazy turds riding an enslaved animal is cool.

bike bells are just funny. that's probably why they work. eye contact and a nod of the head usually works for me. repect shown, but not sniveling. they chose to look away with disgust or whatever, they have issues.
 

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meloh1 said:
I think bells are soothing because they remind people of gentlemenly English cyclists out for a Sunday ride on their Raleigh in their knickers, argyle socks, tweed coat, cable knit sweater, pipe and pork pie hat. Who could be upset with someone like that coming down the trail?
well if i came upon that scene on the trails i ride i would drop to the ground in a fit of hysterical laughter.
 

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I use a couple of jingle bells. It sounds so holiday'ish everytime I roll over a bump, even in 90 degree summer. People usually gives me a smile with those thing. Don't forget to give them a smile and a hi. ;)
 

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Bike bells work great. It's a nice way to say "move aside" without having to be a d!ck. There just isn't a reason to cause trouble and create more trail access issues when you can just ring a friggen bell.
 

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I agree, I have an old fashion type, very loud "ching, ching" bell that I get laughed at for. I manily use mine though on the road for cars, trucks etc as we don't really have any "kept/multi use" trails. Gives me gtreat peace of mind knowing I have it when I see a car coming out of a side road, or a parked car and someone sitting in it, or when passing pedestrians walking all in the road, or slower cyclist:)
 

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I've got one of those on my tandem. I use it for peds but don't count on anyone in a car hearing it, especially with their windows up. Works good for peds but not much else.
 

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Dr Gadget is IN
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I always run a bell

A bell has range - people will hear a bell at a distance where you would have to shout, so the politeness factor is large. Riding buddies may snicker, but getting on their tire when having a good day and dinging the bell at them is suitable revenge. And the occasional rock that pops up and rings the bell makes me smile too. Don't think I could stand a constant "ring-jing-jingaling", tho. My latest bell is a "red bell pepper" which is way cool.
 

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PMC said:
Bike bells work great. It's a nice way to say "move aside" without having to be a d!ck. There just isn't a reason to cause trouble and create more trail access issues when you can just ring a friggen bell.
Exactly. You can ring them at a distance and have the hiker unconsciously move aside, thus allowing you to cruise by w/o issue.
 
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