You need a bell !

Was what the SillyPedestrian shouted at me today. I have mulled over the idea of starting the title SillyPedestrian for a while now. But have always put it off because we all know that many SillyPedestrian are, silly.

Though today’s one send my thought train going. The SillyPedestrian simply just stepped out in front of me without looking at all, got a wee bit of fright and shouted at me.

The SillyPedestrian was walking on the pavement, which is designed for just that, walking on. And I was cycling on my vehicle a bicycle (see it is a vehicle just like a car, bus or van) on the road. Which is made for road users to use. So when walking into the road, yes I see the need to cross said road now again when you are out and about on your own two feet, it is a great idea to check that it is clear to do so.

Remember your Green Cross code ?

Lucky no one was hurt as I foresaw the incident and pulled out further to make room for us both. As I just had that feeling that it was about to happen. Not an easy thing to tell, when a SillyPedestrian decides to change their direction. But my six sense just told me that it was about to happen and I therefore pulled out.

And since the SillyPedestrian shouted “You need a bell !” I’m pretty sure that I gave the SillyPedestrian a bit of a fright.

Now here is where the idea of having a bell in that situation does not make any sense at all :

1/ Your statement that I should have a bell, I take you mean that I should be ringing the bell all the time to let you know of my present. Kinda in a way that cars do with their engines. Which clearly would not work what so ever. Think about it, if every cyclist in London or the world would be ringing their bells all the time. That noise would soon become a background noise just like the plane flying over your house, the train running pass your back garden every hour or bus #42 coming past every 5-10 min. So within a few months that ringing of the bells would do nothing at all and you will not react it to at all. Just like you do to the car engines noise, since you are still walking right out in front of the car.

2/ If I had time to ring my bell, the shock to you and near miss that we had would still have happened. The simple reason for that : you didn’t even look before you stepped off the kerb out on to the road.

Back to the Green Cross Code, remember that ?

3/ And my final point, do you hear all the other vehicles leaning on there equivalent of the bell, the horn? No you don’t.

Just as I posed this I found this over on Croydon Cyclist, Ding Ding The unheard bicycle bell. As he say there is a place and time to use the bell. Though I do find it more polite to say “Excuse me” when you are passing (doing that slowly and giving plenty of space) pedestrian and say thank you afterwards.