How important is it to know which side someone is approaching on really? Someone was kind enough to let you know that they'll be overtaking you in second or two and you see fit to complain about it? Just hold your line for those two or three seconds while your getting passed and everyone will fine.
And unless you are hearing impaired can you really not tell from which side you hear a bell?
I agree though that passing on the right is extremely bad form and should be avoided whenever possible.
Tank-Ridin' Ryan said:I respectfully disagree with you.
I hate it when someone comes up from behind ringing his or her bell. I always say, "Doesn't tell me what side you're on." Ring your bell, then pass me on the right, and I'll be more pissed than if you said, "On your right". Going across Iowa a couple weeks ago, many exchanges went like this: "On your left"
No one getting pissed off. Even saying "On your right"(which happened frequently with 20000 riding across IA) lets the person in front of you know that you're on his or her right, even though you shouldn't be if possible.
A major part of it is delivery though, like the way a car horn can sound friendly or like the most important person in the world is behind you.
I like having a cow bell or go go bell mounted on my bike and I hit them with a drumstick. FUN!
Here's a pic of my teapot bell on my new (vintage) british bike. It was a birthday gift from a friend a couple years back. I'm glad that I now have the perfect bike for my bell!