Bike Bell Etiquette/Ding or Die!

I don’t usually re-post someone else’s work but this internal debate is a good one.  It’s something that I’ve been thinking about because I don’t have a bell and people in Worcester aren’t used to bikes being there so I need to get one.  My biggest hang up has probably been the “less of a man” feeling ringing it gives me.  I’m considering other options but the bell seems pretty universal!

Check out Tim’s post below!  Why is it that I find myself reading and relating to so many Canadian cyclists?  Anyway, his blog is cool and he seems like a dude I could chill with.

Bike Bell Etiquette/Ding or Die! « Go! Do! Share!.

“The most masculine accessory for any bicycle has got to be the bike bell. Every time I ding mine I feel like hunting, punching and growing body hair. It’s as though I’m Thor for a few seconds, except I don’t need a hammer because my fist is a hammer.

Really though, as you know, a bike bell doesn’t sound as tough as a ships horn or a freshly washed set of linens flapping in the breeze…I mean gunshot. Sometimes when I’m feeling even less secure in myself than usual, I won’t use it and just sneak by a pedestrian on a bike path. It’s an accessory that riders occasionally brush off as unnecessary.

But is a bell necessary? Yes! Very!

I didn’t bother getting one for a month when I first began to commute by bike to work a few years ago. My realization that I needed one came as I crept up behind a small group of walkers who also had a couple of small dogs. I said “Excuse me” but they didn’t hear so I took to the grass. One lady shrieked as I appeared beside her, causing her dogs to run at me. I barely escaped a barrage of ankle bites as they started cursing me for scaring them. I got a bell the next day.

Here are some key points I’ve picked up while dinging;

  1. Pick a good distance to ding. A person has to be able to hear it AND have time to move.

    Yeah the bell is on my seat post. It won’t fit on my handlebar!

  2. Don’t ding too close to a person, it’ll scare them. (See point 1.)
  3. Ding the appropriate amount of times. (I never know how many that is exactly but it’s not more than 7)
  4. Don’t ding at dogs. They will think you have treats.
  5. To avoid seeming like a douche, don’t ding when someone is looking at you. They may see this as a taunt.
Got another tip?”

Bike Bell Etiquette/Ding or Die! « Go! Do! Share!.

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