After last week's trip to Kingston and back made another trip, this time to Teddington lock and back (post of which in due course) and it was a good chance to try out those suggestions about how a biker should get the attention of absent minded pedestrians.
There was a majority vote in favour of singing but alas that is not a feasible option. Many years ago while at school I volunteered to join a group that was raising money for charity by singing Christmas carols. It was surprisingly popular, which might be down to a selfless wish to do good for the community, but more likely because it was a joint group with the local girl's school.
One practice session the choir master came and listened carefully to me singing, and afterwards took me to one side and asked whether I'd like to help out with the collecting. He was a wise man, an ex colonel with the British Army and had managed to take a group of us on a school trip round the Eastern Mediterranean without major incident, so I took his advice.
However the bell option is still not really working. For example after ringing it for a family of two adults and three small children, the parents seemed oblivious until their children started a chorus of "daddy, there's a bike".
Then it started to rain, which I hoped might clear the track, but alas British walkers are an all weather army that has been bred like the SAS on a diet of marmite sandwiches and tea, so soldiers on regardless.
My research, however, has identified one possible solution. The most effective form of alerting walkers was a polite but firm Jeeves like throat clearing "ah-hmm" noise, which even the most distracted walker seems to notice. Someone should manufacturer a bike bell that makes a sound like that!