29 December 2013

Bicycle Bells

I think there was a day when bicycle bells were compulsory - not now it seems although attitudes seem to vary about the world.  But I'm inclined to think that people should start to use them again - not necessarily mandatory. The main reason is that more and more people are sharing paths between walkers, joggers and cyclists - and the sharing is largely very harmonious. This morning a silent cyclist had a narrow miss as he tried to pass two of us while we were out walking. Other cyclists called "Cyclist coming through" which was great as it avoid the possibility of an unaware walker dodging to one side (for whatever reason) and causing a fright, or worse, a collision. A single ding on a bell is all that is required and would be quicker and easier. Even when I was a fit fast runner (those were the days) I'd quite often warn walkers when coming from behind - it was always appreciated by the walkers - especially young women on their own or even the elderly miles away in their thoughts. Bring back the bell!


Having said that, I was lucky enough to work for a month once in Hanoi in the days before cars and motorcycles and everyone commuted on bicycles.  It was magical looking down from my hotel window to see hundreds (thousands?) of cyclists silently moving past and even more amazing to see two streams of cyclists at a crossroads surging silently through one another without any collisions or altercations.  One of life's great memories - mysteries. Don't recall any bells there though.

Cyclists in Hanoi 1990

1 comment:

  1. I consider my bicycle bell an essential piece of kit, especially when twice daily crossing Whitiora bridge on the pedestrian path (because the road is too narrow for bikes and buses to share) . I know the bell's cheery ding (and my appropriate speed) is appreciated by the walkers I pass because they usually smile instead of grimace at me.