Dangerous concerns on bike trails (tinkerbells)
To the editor:
The trail rules and common sense require that an audible warning is given before passing someone. (A startled trail user can result in an accident).
Most trail users will announce “Passing on the Left” before passing. They announce their warning loud enough to be heard and acknowledged BEFORE passing. If there is a group of riders planning to pass, the warning should include the number planning to pass. Unfortunately a number of un-informed riders believe that their handlebar bells (tinkerbells) provide a warning!
The tinkerbell is a toy, not a warning.
* The bell sound is easily drown out by wind or traffic noises.
* The sound is non-directional. It could be from a bike in front or behind, or from an area along side the trail.
* The sound is high pitched, which is difficult to hear for many older persons.
* The ringing bell does not always indicate someone plans to pass, nor does it tell you how many plan to pass. Some children enjoy ringing their bell just for fun.
A warning must be heard, understood and acknowledged to be a meaningful warning. This is not possible with a tinkerbell. A simple verbal warning, before passing, is an appreciated courtesy which prevents accidents and makes trail travel safe and enjoyable for all.
“But I rang my bell” offers little consolation when you are in a hospital bed recovering from a crash you caused.