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How do you pass when running/biking? Nothing, Yell, or Ring Ring?

Kevin Nadolny

Ever run along a sidewalk or path where it’s a challenge to get around slower runners or walkers? This happens all the time on city sidewalks, and can even happen on trails or boardwalks. I personally find yelling, “COMING THROUGH!”, annoying and tiring. Why not try a delightful "ring"? Have you seen Runbell? Would you use it?

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  • Todd Tyrtle

    "On your left!" when on a bike works great. "Pardon me." works well when running. And of course selecting the route depending on how much of a rush I'm in is the best thing. If I want a long, uninterrupted training ride on my bike I don't expect to get it on a crowded lakeshore multi-use trail filled with families, kids, and dogs - I head out to the edge of town. If I'm running and don't want to have to deal with crowds I use side roads and laneways or run when the main streets aren't that busy.

    In the end, though, if there's a crowd of bikes or a crush of cyclists and other road users I find that being OK with waiting a few seconds is what works best for me.

    • Kevin Nadolny

      But a lot of runners misjudge how much time people need to react and prepare for a runner's passing especially if the pedestrian is not as physically fit. I find bikes especially need bells due to their speed. Since runners are about as fast as a bike they need bells too. When I am walking, "on your left" and "excuse me" work great, but not when I am running.

  • Joanne Carpenter

    I work at a university. Walking around our beautiful campus can be dangerous with all the runners and bikers. I would really appreciate being warned when they're approaching with the nice ring of a brass bell. The Runbell is a great idea!

  • Rusty Brown

    Has anyone tried whispering into someones ear whilst passing them on their bike "on your left"? That might be alarming.

  • Tom Maybrier

    I noticed that this product is created by a man living in Japan, where the bike bell causes pedestrians to immediately step aside - just look up the comedy video on youtube for hilarious evidence of this phenomenon.

    In the US, the bike bell is practically useless for warning pedestrians - half the time, they actually stop in their tracks and turn around to see what caused the noise.

    The solution is simple - Slow down for a second and simply walk around. Breaking your cadence for a moment won't ruin your run.

    If you absolutely must maintain pace, yell out "passing on your left" - after all, at a proper level of cardiovascular excercise, you should be more than capable of yelling a few words.

    • Kevin Nadolny

      Tom, I will be going to New York City next week and will test out Runbell personally. As for just slowing down and walking around, well it's not always possible when there is no way around. Runners really shouldn't be pushed onto the street.

      I find yelling a bit rude and set out to create a more courteous way of saying "excuse me, runner coming through". After ringing, I always say "thank you" as I am passing.

      • Tom Maybrier

        Great! I think you'll have good luck in NY. Be safe and enjoy your runs - I'm in the city right now and it's perfect running weather. I totally agree with you - the street is definitely for cars and bikes.

        As a fellow runner I appreciate your good manners - you're making us look good. Best of luck to you!

    • Kevin Nadolny

      Warning with a bell happens before you pass so the person has time to react. Yelling happens as you are passing (and is yelling really polite?).

    • Joanne Carpenter

      If you're running in a crowded urban environment, it certainly would break your cadence to walk around pedestrians. And cyclists don't use the sidewalks (or at least they shouldn't) so I think ringing a bell in the city while running would work very well.

      • Tom Maybrier

        No doubt - my point is, having to break cadence isn't that big of a deal and I say that as a running enthusiast.

        Cyclists shouldn't use sidewalks but at least in Los Angeles it's extremely common. There are many folks here who never ride in the street. I'd love to know how we solve that!

        • Kevin Nadolny

          And sorry...didn't remember I had replied earlier...but will still test out Runbell in NYC next week. Cheers and thanks for your thoughts!

    • Rusty Brown

      Vocalizing "On your left [or right]" seems to work really well for me.

  • silverraven

    You really need to indicate which side you're passing on especially if you're on a bike. How about "ring, ring, on your left"?

  • Kevin Nadolny

    Totally agree. Be human, talk, share. A bell can be heard at 10 meters (30 feet), but my voice cannot. Isn't it best to give some warning before passing? I always ring then say "thank you" as passing. I have been spooked by too many runners warning at the last moment.

  • Burbanity

    Really? How onerous is it to say, pleasantly, "On your left"? Especially since you wish bikers would say it to you. Be human. Talk to people. Everybody shares the path.

  • Kevin Nadolny

    Thanks ya'll! Let's keep ringing!

  • Josepie

    Love it... I have a loud voice and I still can't seem to get people to move out of the way when I shout! This could be the perfect solution.