Ring-a-ling you ding-a-lings

A chime is the melodious sound of a bell being struck.

On the Daisy Hardwick boardwalk, which circumnavigates  the Waikareao Estuary, bells chiming, or ringing, should be as much a part of the ambience as the cries of the tui, the kingfishers, herons, pied stilts and pukeko.

They’re not, but they should be.  

The pealing of a bell generally signals to a walker or runner that a cyclist is approaching from behind. But the majority of cyclists, and the majority of the majority are males, are being staunch – no ringing bell, no warnings, no consideration.

Blokes on bikes don’t ring bells – blokes on bikes don’t have  bells on bikes.

Why? Where’s the courtesy? What’s the problem?

They sneak up at 15 to 25 km per hour perhaps, and if you’re jogging, you don’t hear or see them until they’re right off your shoulder. They give you a hell of a fright, and you are just as likely to leap into the path of the cyclist.

It’s scary, it’s downright dangerous and it’s rude.

Let me explain guys – if while running the wind is in our  face, we often don’t hear your approach.

Add the scrunching of running on a gravel track into the audio mix and it makes it doubly difficult to sense your approach.

Of the eight cyclists who passed JB while running the estuary circuit just after daybreak last Sunday, only one warned me of their approach. It was a woman – a welcoming tinkling of her bell when she was 10 metres off my stern and a “good morning – stunning day,” as she sailed by.

It was like music, and a pleasant considerate encounter with  a cyclist.

When I reminded one of the mature male cyclists that he should ring his bell he yelled he didn’t have one and, what’s more, wouldn’t be getting one. Love the attitude.

Let’s go for a ride and piss people off. I wonder if this is the same cyclist who cries for more understanding from motorists while at the same time running red lights, weaving through traffic, riding our footpaths and other jerkish bicycle behaviours.

As a jogger and regular user of the Daisy Hardwick, I appeal to cyclists to join us, share some courtesy, share the love and share the track. Ring a bell. You are giving all cyclists a bad name.

You might even have some thoughts about joggers’ behaviours, so share those too.