I rode without a bike bell for over three decades. I might have had a bell as a kid, but if I did I don't remember. Now I cannot imagine riding without a bell. My move to New York City is what led me to purchase a bell. New York City is funny, there are like millions of people there and they mostly walk when going from one place to another. I know this is a foreign concept to many, but believe me it actually is the case.
Most of the riding I did before moving to NYC was around cars, and I did not think it likely that someone in a car would hear me if I rang a bell. In Boston I also ride around a lot of cyclists and pedestrians and thus a bike bell is quite useful.
Bells are a double edged sword. It seems that half of the time when I ring my bell it annoys people. This half of the population will glance at me and give me a dirty look. The ironic thing is that most of these people are not walking in what I would call a "proper" fashion. Often they are taking up the entire path or not walking in a straight line. The other half of the time people dutifully move aside without comment and I pedal merrily on my way. I am not a fire fighter either, I try to ring only to get attention, not to assault someone's ears.
I have probably owned six or seven different bells and never had I owned a brass bell. Well, thanks to the genorsity of the folks at Lion Bellworks I now am the proud owner of my first brass bicycle bell. And not only am I a proud owner, the kind folks across the pond sent an extra bell for me to giveaway.
First my review. I love the bell. It sounds nice and looks nice. That pretty much says it all. You might wonder how it sounds and the video below provides an answer. I did a side-by-side comparison with my old bell, and simulated a rain storm as well =)
The Lion bell not only provides a nice sound, the sound carries on longer than the other bell in the demostration. Lion makes two versions of the bell - one for installation on the bars like in the video, and one stem mounted version as seen in this picture from their website.
So here's the deal, it seems appropriate to run a poetry contest. We ran a haiku contest before and it turned out well, and there are many words associated with bells that should integrate into a poem nicely.
Since this is Bike Hacks and not Sophisticated, Reasoned, and Technically Sound Bike Modifications, traditional poetry rules do not need to be followed. For example, when we did the haiku contest last time I encouraged readers to apply the 5-7-5 format of haiku to word count rather than syllable count. Feel free to twist any traditional poetry rules as you like. Like the Lion Bellworks bell, if it sounds good, it is good. For inspiration, here is a site with different kinds of poetry if you need it.
Here are the rules -
- Submitted poems must include a bell reference and a bell related word. Examples include bell, ding, ring, and clink but this is surely not an exhaustive list. Use of the word "Lion" or "England" is not required, but the folks at Lion Bellworks might feel warm and fuzzy if you try. The use of the word brass might also be cool =)
- Submit your poetry to bikehacks [dot ] com [at] gmail [dot] com. You can submit as many poems as you like.
- When you submit your entry via the email referenced above, include at a minimum your first name and where you live.
- Your poetry will be posted on the site for the public to view.
- The deadline to submit your poetry for contest consideration is Monday, October 15th, 2012.
- If you wish to include a picture to go with your poetry that is fine too, just attach a JPEG to your email. If you submit a video I might get worried.
- The winner will be announced on the site sometime early in late October and said winner will get the bell. The Bike Hacks brain trust (don't laugh) will be responsible for determining the winner.
I'll get things started . . .
We got a Lion Bell
It makes a wonderful ding ding sound
Submit a poem to win!
I now own a bell made of brass
When I ring it some people look at me like they want to kick my ass
But I feel the need to ring
Because if I don't I might end up in a hospital sling!