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Why Don't Bikes Have Bells Anymore?

Updated on August 3, 2020

I walk through the John Rowswell Hub Trail, in Sault Ste. Marie, almost every day. I put my headphones on and usually listen to something from Hans Zimmer. The slow-moving fat strings calms me down impeccably and lets me enjoy the swaying grass and the glinted tress. A few minutes into that walk, when the drums kick in with the brass and the cellos, a bike blares past me scaring the living soul out of me.

Why the on earth don't they have bells or some kind of horn to let people know that they are about to wiz past you? If you stretch your hands in the trail, you probably will find it in a ditch, between a cyclist's teeth.

Is it a style thing? Don't they have bells or horns because it is uncool? I won't know because I haven't owned a bike. A friend of mine had a bike which I borrowed to go into the trail a few weeks back. On my way back I was stuck behind two women who were talking so loud that they didn't hear me approach. Even after tailing them for a few meters they had no idea that I was behind them, trying my best to get ahead. I wanted to go past them and at the same time, I didn't want to interrupt their conversation.

So, I came up with an ingenious plan. I saw a twig lying in the middle of the road a few meters ahead. I slowed my bike down and waited for them to pass the twig, and once they did, I rode as fast as I could towards the twig so that it would make the loudest possible noise.

The plan worked. I broke the twig, which made enough noise to scare those women onto a nearby tree. I rode away as fast as I could before they got a chance to tell me exactly the sort of thing that would pass through my mind if a cyclist were to ever do that to me.

The whole situation could have been avoided if there was a bell or some contraption on my bike to make some noise to alert people about my existence.

What if the women I scared that day had a heart condition? Even scarier is the fact that I am easily terrified. What if one of these two-wheeled maniacs were to pass me when I am completely immersed in the Cornfield Chase? It is only human to lose all sense of reality when you listen to any of the tracks from Interstellar. I might have a heart attack then and there.

So, get a bell, save lives.


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