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Posted by on Feb 19, 2009 in General, Safety | 9 comments

The Power of the Bell

Funny clip I saw while surfing.  Although I don’t understand the language, the Power of the Bell is both interesting and funny.  I have a bell on my bike and I get similar results on my commute.

Power of the Bell

Then end of this clip holds a couple of really good scenes.  Hold on to your sides!


  1. The link didn’t work on my click, so I just typed the title into YouTube and apparently found the right one, because I was laughing much harder at the end. That’s pretty funny!

    We don’t have the same culture here, clearly, but it’s not a total wash. I have a remotely actuated bell on my velomobile and I will ring it when passing pedestrians, even though they are on the sidewalk and I’m not. Sometimes it spooks the little poofy-dogs being walked, and rarely the pedestrian will step to the side. Occasionally, the big not-poofy dogs being walked will jump from the noise of the bell too.

    A bike bell is a friendly sound and every bike should have one for only that reason.

  2. I have bells on all of my bikes, but am considering an Airzounds for the “pedestrians” that insist on walking 4 abreast on the MUP with their Ipods cranked up…


  3. Reminds me of a blog post I read.
    Here it is.

    I get to Germany, and decide to go buy me a mountain bike, since I love to ride bikes. I visit my local bike shop, where the gruff but lovable Herr Wagner sells me a Specialized HardRock. He begins to screw a bicycle bell onto the handlebar.

    “Oh, I won’t be needing that,” I told him.

    “Yes, you will.”

    “A bicycle bell? I haven’t had a bicycle bell on my bicycle since I was ten years old. It’ll probably fall off, anyway.”

    “You must have this,” Herr Wagner said. “It is…necessary” he said, searching for the English word.

    “But it’s a mountain bike. I don’t need a bell when I’m riding trails.”

    “You will not always be on trails. And it is the law. All bikes must have a bell. This is a crowded country. I give it to you free.”

    “Well, alright then.”

    So I figured that since I’ve got a bell on my bicycle, I might as well use it. When I came up behing people on the sidewalk or on a trail, I gave them a friendly little ding! In the United States, it’s considered courteous to give pedestrians a brief verbal warning when you cycle past them. I figured that in Germany, the bell was what you used to give a friendly warning.

    I soon noticed that whenever I rang the bicycle bell to tell people I was approaching, people’s heads would whip around to me. Or they’d jump immediately to one side — and I mean immediately. One guy, walking alone on a fairly narrow trail near a hedge, actually jumped into the hedge and worked himself a little way in, before eyeing me in fright and resentment as I bicycled by. People walking dogs would pull little Fido’s chain so hard and so quickly that I was afraid Fido’s neck would break.

    “Man, these Germans sure are high-strung,” I thought to myself

    More here:

  4. Aaron,

    I used to ride with an Airzounds. It is seriously loud! It would probably scare the crap out of a pedestrian. It will break through a blasting iPod, though :-)

  5. OK. Anybody have a favorite bell to recommend?

    I will need two.


  6. I found the IncrediBell by Mirrycle. They have awesome bar end mirrors too!

    You can get these through a LBS or online.

  7. Keri…I ride with fenders so the “crap” won’t be a problem ;>D What is ironic is the one MUP I use most is a Rails to Trails and bicycles “supposedly” have priority, but it seldom works that way. I have also been chastised for “spooking” a horse and rider that were on the trail by using my bell…funny thing is horses ARE NOT ALLOWED on that trail, when I pointed this out to the irate rider they just became more irate….some people.


  8. Yeah, bikes and pedestrains don’t mix well. Even where bike only tracks are next to pedestrian areas, the peds seem to wander willy-nilly wherever.

    When John Allen finishes editing his video of the NYC cycletracks, I’ll post a link to it. It will make you reach for the airzounds while watching it.

  9. I have bells on all my bikes, and they are there not just to warn peds, but also to say a friendly “Hi!”. Kids especially love them.

    My most interesting use came as I peddled up to what looked like a drug-deal at a parked car. I started ringing early, and looked the other way.