Horns, bells and mirrors.
These are topics that don’t appear to hold many peoples’ interest. But bikes are required by law to have some warning device.
It is a reasonable law. Calling or yelling to indicate your presence might be ok sometimes but other people out and about will object to bike riders yelling "hey, look out" every time the cyclist wants to pass a pedestrian.
Riding in a combination of urban and rural settings leads to situations such as:
- On a shared path where the cyclist is approaching a few pedestrians from behind. Conditions are good. The bike is travelling at over 20kph. There are not many people about and the pedestrians are hand in hand across the middle of the path.
- Out in the country with animals on the road. The cyclist wants to miss the animals and needs them to move over a bit.
In the example with the pedestrians, a cyclist with a bell has to slow to virtually walking speed as the pedestrians will not respond to the bell until it was about 5 metres away. But with a horn they notice it 20-25 metres away. Here the cyclist only needed to slow to 20kph to be able to safely pass (and say thanks!). In the example with the animals, the bell does not register with them and the horn does.