Hear the Lion, erm, ding

Regular readers will know I’m partial to the odd ride along a mixed-use trail. Normally, these mini-adventures are undertaken with that fine fellow Tim from Life in the Cycle Lane and, more often than not, are an excuse to indulge his baffling affinity for the Trans Pennine Trail.

Riding these routes has its problems though – largely confined to other trail users. We always try to be considerate on these Troll-fests, normally favouring a polite ‘on your right’ when overtaking walkers. Horse riders are given a respectful wide berth too.

However, increasingly I hear grumbles from walkers as I trundle by along the lines of ‘Where’s your bell?!’ Both Tim and I feel the bell can be more offensive than a verbal warning but, in the interests of ‘scientific’ enquiry, I decided to equip the Bob Jackson with one ahead of this year’s Eroica.

As this was the Bob I was looking for something suitably retro. I’d found a fine example for a tenner amid Eroica’s tempting stalls but then came across Lion Bellworks. Their rather splendid brass bell was another fiver. Maybe it was the quantity of gin I’d consumed or the fact that Lion bells are assembled in Manchester that prompted me to cough up the extra dough. Actually no, the Lion emitted such a becoming ‘ding’ I was immediately hooked.

Lion bellworks brass cycle bellAware of the importance of the sound, Lion have posted an audio file on their web homepage. It’s easily described though. Flicking the elegant hammer against the brass body produces a sound that would summon Andrew Sachs as Manuel in Fawlty Towers.

The Lion is beautifully made and fits securely to a quill stem, a strip of cork on the bracket ensuring the bell remains put and is free from rattles in use.

So, how did folks on the Peak District trails respond? Mostly with a smile, exactly the response I was after. It was a bit much for one daydreaming pedestrian though who spun round with a start and blurted ‘Jesus f@cking Christ!!!’

Hmmm, can’t please everyone I guess.

This is a lovely product and is highly recommended. The only downside is the bell will tarnish so requires regular polishing.

11 thoughts on “Hear the Lion, erm, ding

  1. This post made my morning 🙂 Hubby is deaf and I often daydream when walking so bikes tend to elicit a similar surprised reaction from us!

    1. Hi Hayley, I do try to be mindful of other folk. I am perfecting my bell technique – advance warning seems to work and slowing down of course. As a keen walker myself, I do see the other side of the coin too.

  2. I have a foot in both camps.Though I love to cycle I do walk more.When I am cycling I hate ringing the bell and much prefer to slow down and wait for a opportunity to pass,usually with an excuse me please.When I am walking I do tend to get annoyed with old men in Lycra refusing to ring or speak but just barrel their way through.I am guilty then of saying sorry I didn’t hear your bell.

  3. It’s been called an “addiction”, but more often than not, I just accidentally end up on the Trans Pennine Trail. It’s kinda long.

    Plus, until I ride that final section out to Hull (shudder), I shall remain addicted. So there.

    And bells are still the work of the devil.

  4. I have a Suzu bell by Crane which gives out a loud, clear ding that sustains for ages. I couldn’t stop ringing it in my office the day I got it delivered.

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