No, not a reference to a well known Christmas carol, although that would be apt given the current level of excitement in our household, but a short musing on the benefits of a bell on your bike.
Actually, not just any bell but Tony’s bell, which has taught me over the past few Sunday rides that maybe it’s not such a good idea to remove the bell that the shop legally has to supply when you get a new bike.
Tony has just such a bell, a simple spring mounted bit of plastic which strikes a small metal dome when you flick it. It’s not even as sophisticated as the bells on shopping bikes in days or yore but it is surprisingly effective. I’m starting to get used to the soft ting! ting! sound it makes out on the North Downs.
Why is it useful? Well, first of all it lets other trail users know you’re there a lot earlier and more politely than a shout of ‘On yer right!’ So far whenever it’s been used the walkers we’ve encountered have been much less miserable than usual which is also a bonus. It’s basically the best and most non-confrontational warning you can give.
Second, it lets riders behind you know there’s something up ahead even if they haven’t seen them or it yet. Which is infinitely preferable to a handful of locked rear brake and an apologetic (but, you hope rugged) grin.
So I’m going to follow Tony’s example if I can get over the embarrassment factor of using it. Do they make one in 6061 hydroformed alloy? Or is steal real?
Ding dong indeed!!