Put a Bell on Your Bike
Few things are more expensive than hanging a bell on your bike. Once you do, it only takes you into the world of helmet mirrors , handlebar tassels and highly visible ankle straps . But you have to put a bell on your bike. It makes life easier for you and everyone around you.
It is generally indecent for any cyclist other than an eight-year-old on Huffy to have a bell on their bike. The cyclist is somehow better off yelling “to your left,” “behind you,” or nothing at all when he passes pedestrians, tourists, dog lovers, strollers, or terrible drivers.
Cyclists argue about bells all the time. They spend countless hours on message boards and comment on how the bells don’t work. People have their own opinion about bells. They say the bell is ugly. The bell adds weight to the $ 5,000 carbon fiber road bike frame, which you think makes you go faster as you run through your local park. The bell will make you look like Fred , who is lame in everything, who could just as well install a basket for organic vegetables from the farmers’ market.
However, in my experience, bells can improve the life around you. If you are riding a mountain bike trail, hikers are warned by a bell so they can step aside. If you are in a city, the bell gives a clear signal to pedestrians and cars that you exist. This eliminates the problem of a cyclist screaming “to your left” when passing a pedestrian who is essentially turning left, often accidentally stepping to the left, frightening both the cyclist and himself.
Even ifyou are a skilled cyclist and always feel like you have the right to take priority, calling can make your life better. You can ring the bell from 10, 20, or even 30 yards to announce your arrival to everyone in the vicinity so that they have enough time to get out of your way . You can ring the bell when you pass a car that disgustingly opens the door to the bike path. You can use it to warn other, slower and weaker cyclists that you are riding behind them. You can jingle as you bomb this descent into blind corners on your mountain bike, making everyone know that you, king of the hill, are descending at top speed.
Personally, I find the bell to be best for mixed trails where dogs, humans, and tiny humans can run freely. This is useful in the city as well, especially in places like Los Angeles where people have a tendency to accidentally change lanes in their cars or suddenly run out onto the road on foot for no good reason. Plus, when you pass a car with the door ajar on the bike path, you get a strange feeling of pleasure.
I would argue more for the nobility of the humble bicycle bell than the named one, but it doesn’t matter to me what your reasons are. The world is filled with arguments, people from all walks of life scream into the sky, and civilized behavior ceases. The last thing anyone wants is for a cyclist to scream in their ear as they drive past them. The bell is a civilized heads-up. The bell will make your bike ride more whimsical and friendlier. Ring the bell and you will immediately be delighted.
Bells aren’t as bad, cheap, or ugly as you might think. Knog, the company best known for its bicycle headlights , also makes a bell that doesn’t look like a bell at all . Do you prefer luxury? The $ 50 Spurcycle Bell is what you need. It is loud, unobtrusive, fits on any steering wheel. At a ridiculous price? Yes, but it will work well with your high end bike frame. You can also go to your local bike shop and buy whatever they sell for between $ 10 and $ 20. Trust me, you will make everyone, including yourself , a little happier on the road.