By Greg Conderacci
Recently, RBR launched this new series to enlighten our ultra-cool readers about the benefits of dorkiness.
In Part I, we explored screening your helmet; in Part II, we messed with your handlebars; in Part III, we reflectorized your machine; in Part IV, we prepped you for flats; in Part V, we praised electrical tape; and in Part VI, we recommended kinesiology tape for sore knees; and in Part VII, we raised your aerobars; and in Part VIII, we swore off black jerseys.; and in Part IX, we turned on a blinking headlight.
Today, I’m going to remind you about your first bike. It had a bell, right? Wasn’t it fun to ring that thing?
You probably don’t have one on your current bike because you prefer to yell, “ON YOUR LEFT!” at the top of your lungs every time you pass someone on a bike or on foot. And, of course, bells are dorky.
But here’s the nice thing about a bell. The sound carries. You can ring it 50 yards or more from the folks you’re going to pass. It doesn’t cause them to jump out of their skins, like someone suddenly yelling in their ears does. And, when you get closer, in a normal tone of voice, you can say “On your left” … just to be polite.
Do you have a dorky tip to share? Don’t be shy. We’ll withhold your name upon request. Remember a dorky tip has one or more of these characteristics:
- Pro riders do not do it (nor does just about anybody else)
- It’s cheap or maybe even free
- It usually adds weight
Greg Conderacci is a marketing consultant and a former Wall Street Journal reporter, non-profit entrepreneur, and investment bank chief marketing officer. In Getting UP!, he brings you the same skills he teaches at a top graduate school and Fortune 500 companies. Lots of people promise better performance … Greg proves it. Using his energy techniques, in 2015 he rode a bicycle across America in just 18 days — averaging 150 miles a day.
George Straznitskas says
My normal riding routes include portions of local bike paths. Usually walkers, often walking in pairs engaged in conversation. My “on your left’s” are either not heard or worse, evoke “you scared me”.
The Knog OI bell has changed all that for the better. I even get “thank you’s”! And the device is barely visible. Great $20 investment (Amazon).
Also, check your local laws. A bell or something similar is required in many jurisdictions. If you get stopped by the police, they are within their rights to give you a ticket.
Edwin Johnson says
It would be very nice if mountain bikers riding on hiking trails would use a bell to alert hikers that they are coming up behind.. Hiking in the Tucson MT Park this happens fairly often. A bell would give hikers time to get off the trail.
Mark Olinsky says
I recommend the Spurcycle bell. I have a bell on each of my 5 road bikes (4 in New Jersey, 1 at my son’s house in California) and 1 gravel bike. The Spurcycle is the best in my opinion because it is loud, resonant, we’ll-made, small and easy to flick with hands on the top. I find that I ring the bell even on the shortest rides, The Spurcycle is pricey at about $50 but I think worth it for a product that is this high quality and helps to keep me safe.
George Talley says
I have used a bell on my bikes for many years. It started when I was riding my mountain bike on the New River Trail in Virginia to alert a bear when I encountered one on the Trail. Also, on my touring bike when I would come upon a bear with his head in a trash bin, a couple of dings would send him running. I always called it my bear bell. Alerting hikers and other bikers that I passing has become a side benefit.
Mike E. says
I always ring my bell when someone waves at me or my group, kids love it!
Problem with bells is that people today are walking or running on bike paths with ear pods or headphones on, they can’t hear a darn thing; but I do know this, my yell is a heck of a lot louder than any bell I’ve heard, so I yell.
Lady Cyclist says
Knog Oi bell or yell..either or both…pedestrians love to know when a rider is approaching. The “thank you ” wave from them says it all. When approaching blind underpasses I am ringing the bell or singing or whatever just to let someone I cannot see know I’m approaching. Call it “dorky” if you want…I call it “smart”. When someone comes up from behind me on a bike and almost touches my shoulder from being so close and says absolutely nothing I am angry. So I try to practice ” do unto others”…, when I ride. Bells and yells all help.
David Keller says
For years, until it failed, I used a neat little bell/compass combination that was sold in Boy Scout supply sources. It was a great dual purpose device when riding unkown, twisty roads.
Agustin Selfa Cubedo says
Según el reglamento de circulación español, los peatones deben circular por el lado izquierdo de la calzada para ver venir al vehículo que circula, lógicamente, por su izquierda. Si esto fuera así en lso carriles bici no tendríamos problemas al acercarnos al peatón, éste se acerca ma´s a su derecha y nosotros un poco hacia el centro del carril bici. El problema son los peatones que van por su derecha en un carril bici en el que circulan vehículos y es peor si llevan auriculares tapando sus orejas y aislandolos del resto del mundo que se puede volver peligroso para ellos. Algunos se enfadan si les dices que está mal hacer eso, les enseño mi dedo corazón y sigo pedaleando.