The (bike) Dashboard and the Bell

Road Bike Dashboard

I currently have three bikes, a road bike, a fixed gear and a mountain bike. My two primary bikes, the road and fixed gear are both configured with nearly identical dashboards. I just got my road bike fork back from Jeffery Bock, an old friend and frame builder. The bike is a Bridegstone RB-1 an old ’80s racer. Jeff added eyelets and lowrider mounts so I could carry front panniers and use the bike to commute. If you look closely you can see the rack parallel to the front tire.

Fixed Gear Dashboard

On my dashboard I have a CygoLite Million 200. This is a 200 lumen LED light. I bought it because it is one single piece and recharges via USB so I can charge it at my desk at work. 200 lumens is a very bright like it is highly visible even in daylight. For daytime road rides I set it to flash so cars can see me even if they are driving into the sun. Next I have a Cateye wireless cyclometer. Since my dashboard is busy I wanted a computer that could mount on the stem. Finally on the right side I have a bell. My fixed gear bike has almost the same setup except the light is a Nightrider Ultra Fazer 5.o. The Nightrider is not as powerful as the CygoLite but it is better than nothing.

One of my pet peeves is people who ride on trails and do not call out when they pass. Most trails are multi-use and here in Cedar Rapids you will find runners, walkers, Roller-Bladers, moms pushing strollers, dog walkers and cyclists sharing the same trail. The problem is that everyone on the trail moves at a different speed. Since bikes are the fastest trail users and move silently, trail etiquette dictates that when passing, you should call out, “Passing left” to let people know that you are approaching and overtaking them. Strangely, both I and others have noticed that few cyclists actually call out when they pass. I have a bell on the bike so that I can alert other trail users when I am overtaking them from behind or approaching a blind corner. The bell can be heard from a distance and the sound is non-threatening. I typically ring the bell twice and call out (in my friendliest voice) “on your left, three riders”. I only pass where there is sufficient room so if I pass walkers and they edge over I try to tell them that there is “plenty of room”. My goal is not to get them to move over rather to keep them from moving into the passing lane.

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One Response to The (bike) Dashboard and the Bell

  1. Jared Christensen says:

    I rarely have the problem of being overtaken by an unannounced rider on the trail. The problem I have is people who can’t hear me yelling that I’m approaching on their left. The number of people walking, running, and biking with iPods in their ears drives me nuts. I might just see if I can mount an airhorn on my roadbike.

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